Debt Shield, Inc.
Debt Shield, Inc.

Debt Shield Encourages Annual Credit Report Checks for Consumers & Unemployed

Award-winning debt settlement company reminds unemployed consumers about the importance of free annual credit reports.

Columbia, MD, January 31, 2010 --( Executives at Debt Shield, a Maryland-based debt settlement company, are reminding consumers to get their free annual credit reports from

In additional to banks and lenders, some employers check applicants’ credit reports before offering jobs. With the current unemployment rate at 10% this is still another reason for consumers to make sure their own reports are accurate and up-to-date.

Consumers are guaranteed free access to their credit reports once every year and are able to challenge inaccurate information through the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

"Once you access your credit report, you can check for errors as well as evidence of identity theft, which could otherwise affect your credit scores and cost you time, stress and money," explained Debt Shield CEO Phil Fewster.

Credit reports show consumers the information their creditors recount about their credit activity over the last seven to ten years. Annually checking a credit file can help consumers detect mistakes and outdated information that could cost thousands of dollars if uncorrected.

“Information on your credit report is how creditors determine how much interest to charge and whether or not to grant you a loan,” said Fewster. "But because credit reports can also be accessed by potential employers, you could damage your job prospects if errors or fraudulent behavior remains undetected."

Moreover, 43% of companies ran credit checks on potential hires, according to a 2006 poll from the Society for Human Resource Management. That figure is up from 36% in 2004 and 25% in 1998. While some consumers groups do not think it's fair for employers run credit checks on applicants, currently only two states (Hawaii and Washington) prohibit them.

"Many unemployed consumers have learned the hard way that the current job market continues to struggle," said Fewster. "Being turned away from a job due a mistake on their credit file is about the last thing today's jobseekers need."

While there are multiple websites through which consumers can access their credit reports, the Federal Trade Commission states that is "the only authorized online source for you to get a free credit report under federal law." There are three separate credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) all of which may have slightly different information. Consumers can obtain free annual credit reports from all three credit bureaus at Consumers may be offered credit monitoring services and other related products for a price, but there is no obligation to make any purchase. It does cost money for consumers to access their credit scores, the three-digit number determined by the information in each credit report.

For more information on annual credit checks including frequently asked questions about checking your credit report, visit the FTC website at

About Debt Shield, Inc.

Debt Shield, Inc., is an award-winning debt settlement company helping consumers resolve their unsecured debt through mutually agreeable settlements in consideration of the consumers’ legitimate financial hardships. As an alternative to bankruptcy, Debt Shield provides a service for both debtors and creditors. For more information about Debt Shield, call 1-888-397-7546 or visit the website at

Debt Shield, Inc.
Maggie Beetz