For those concerned about being scammed and having their identity stolen, particularly after the Equifax data breach, the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection has help.

The state agency has recently published a booklet, the “Downeaster Common Sense Guide to Credit Reports and Credit Scores,” an Equifax data breach special edition.

The 17-page booklet is free to Maine residents and packed with advice, such as easy-to-follow steps on how to freeze your credit. It explains what’s in a credit report, a credit score, why both are important and how they affect people’s lives, from renting an apartment to buying a car.

The Downeaster Guide offers tips on how to improve your credit score, why no one should have more than two or three credit cards and why older, established credit cards are better to keep. It also explains why people should be cautious when asked to co-sign a loan.

The guide offers tips on how to review your credit report for free, up to three times every 12 months. And it offers knowledge on how the internet is full of scammers posing as legitimate credit repair organizations with two intentions: to steal the victim’s identify and to steal money.

To get a free copy, call the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection at 207-624-8527, or 1-800-332-8529.

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The Downeaster Common Sense Guide to Credit Reports and Credit Scores is available, free, to Maine residents by calling the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection at 1-800-332-8529.


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