Wednesday, December 13, 2006

New Car

We settled on this in the end:

with side airbags and, of course, iPod connectivity added. The dealer actually had one with my exact specs on the lot, and the only thing I made them change was the hubcaps. It's not particularly powerful, but it's my commute car so price and fuel economy were far more important to me. The ride is pretty smooth, and the seat rides much higher than the Corolla's. The only weird thing was that all the instruments are on the center console, which takes some getting used to. I wanted a hatchback partly because it gives us a more squarish cargo capacity, unlike the Corolla's deep rectangular space.

Mabel will continue to drive the Corolla, and we do need it fix it up a bit. But after some 128,000+ miles up and down both coasts, the trusty old buddy will finally get some rest.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Credit Report

Before buying the car, I figure I should check my credit report. Turns out that the three major credit reporting agencies have a site where you can ask for a free report each year. So I try it, and Experian tells me that I have a mortgage, addresses in Flushing, three social security numbers, and I think eight names - one of which is Chen.

It's not very hard to get this corrected once you call them and tell them sternly what they need to do. However, I'm really troubled by how readily they combined accounts. From what I can tell, if there are two people with somewhat similar names and somewhat similar social security numbers, they assume a typographical error and combine the information of the two people into one account. Despite the risks of identity theft (I was given the credit history of two other people), they do not check before they combine accounts.

So check your credit report today. Better yet, change your name to a long, random word.