Do Nutritional Supplements Work? Some Surprising Facts

Some big, unfounded rumors are circulating about nutritional supplements.And they’re circulating under the guise of science and experience. But instead of helping you make wiser choices for your health, they do the opposite. They make it harder.Because these false tales ignore volumes of research and several thousands of years of human healing practices using food, herbs and minerals.What fallacies am I talking about?A December 2013 editorial published in The Annals Of Internal Medicine, titled “Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements” concluded:”We believe that the case is closed- supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.”[1]Now here’s the thing… I agree we need to pay attention to results of the studies the authors referred to when they came to this conclusion. This editorial refers to several recent studies. Each of these studies underscores some important reasons why nutritional supplements don’t work in specific situations.But other than that, they’re dead wrong.Because if anything these studies only highlight the mistakes people and doctors make when it comes to using supplements. Simply put, when people choose poor quality supplements and use the wrong supplement for the wrong reasons, supplements don’t do much good.In contrast, as hundreds of people who have consulted with me as a doctor have discovered, when you choose the right, high quality supplement for the right health concern, you’ll see the benefits.The key is to make knowledgeable choices.A single article is too limited to cover 40 plus years of knowledge I draw from in recommending supplements to my patients. But I can offer some basic guidelines that will help you make better choices when you use supplements.Here’s what you need to look out for in order to ensure the nutritional supplements you use work.Get The Right Dose Of NutritionThree of the studies the editorial team used to make their case showed multivitamins did little to change the risk of brain problems, cardiovascular issues after a heart attack or overall health risks for older people.I wasn’t surprised by this.In trying to cover the whole spectrum of nutrition without overdoing it in any one area, multivitamins usually only offer a small percentage of the nutrients you need to take care of a specific health concern. And often enough they include nutrients you don’t even need depending on how you eat.For example, most multivitamins contain 400 IU or less of vitamin D. While this is the official recommended daily allowance for vitamin D, most holistic doctors would consider this a drop in the bucket when it comes to raising your blood vitamin D levels.I have my patients get blood tests to assess vitamin D levels and then recommend supplements accordingly. Often enough, I recommend at least 1000 IU – sometimes as much as 5000 IU – to get them to healthy vitamin D levels in the blood.Multivitamins provide a baseline for nutrition. Not strategic intervention that can really make a difference.And this brings me to the next issue…Choose The Best Nutritional Supplements For Your Specific NeedsJust because vitamin A supplementation worked for your neighbor, doesn’t mean it will work for you.Perhaps you eat lots of winter squash and chlorella, rich in this vitamin. You don’t need a supplement.Not everyone needs the same amount of supplementation.Supplementation works best when it’s tailored to your individual health concerns, eating habits, lifestyle and genetic makeup. When adding supplements to your diet, start with you – with what you’re struggling with and what you know are your weak points.This is why studies involving people without any nutritional deficiencies to assess the effectiveness of supplements may have had less significant results.It’s also why multivitamins have limited effectiveness. The higher quality ones may give you a nice nutritional base. But they do little to offer you the strategic nutrition that thousands of studies have shown can make a difference with specific health concerns.But it doesn’t matter what dose of supplement you choose, if you don’t pay attention to this next issue, you won’t get what you need…Choose Natural SupplementsSynthetic versions of vitamins can not only be less effective, they can be dangerous. As the Annals of Internal Medicine editorial team correctly pointed out, some research has shown that vitamin A supplementation can in fact increase your risk of lung cancer.However, if you get the precursor for vitamin A that’s found in chlorella and other whole foods – beta carotene – you don’t have to worry. Unlike with vitamin A, your body only converts the beta-carotene it needs and gets rid of the rest.Natural substances are hard to mimic in a chemistry lab. We may do a pretty good job, but several different vitamin studies have shown that synthetic forms of vitamins – like the ones used in several vitamin A and E studies – can disrupt the way your body uses nutrition.But even if you go natural, you still need to pay keen attention to the next criterion…Make Quality A PriorityListen, do you think some wilted spinach that’s been sitting in your fridge for 2 weeks will give you the same nourishment as that spinach picked from your garden minutes ago? Of course not!So why would you assume all supplement ingredients are of the same quality?Sure they may be natural ingredients. But natural doesn’t necessarily mean quality.Plenty of manufacturers scoot by with ingredients your body can’t use – or contain little concentration of the active compounds you’re seeking. Multivitamins are particularly notorious in this area. If you pick one up at random from the local pharmacy, I can just about guarantee that many of the nutrients in the multivitamin you selected will be hard for your body to use and offer limited benefits.For example, calcium carbonate – found in many multivitamins as well as calcium supplements – is much harder for your body to breakdown and absorb than calcium citrate.[2]When it comes to botanical supplements, their quality depends heavily on how they were sourced and processed. For example, if eleuthero root is harvested in the winter months, when much of the plant’s energy is stored in its roots, you’ll get a much higher concentration of active ingredients, eleutherosides. However, not every eleuthero producer takes care to harvest at this time, leading to a range of potency when it comes to eleuthero supplements on the market.However, as good as a high quality extract or isolated ingredient is, rarely can they compete with the best form of supplementation.The Best Nutritional Supplements Are Made With Whole FoodsWhile we’ve discovered some applications for isolated vitamins and plant compounds… and while I sometimes suggest my patients use certain extracts or isolated vitamins… when it comes down to it, nothing beats the complex chemistry of food for giving your body the best nutrition.Nutrients found in food work together to nourish you in incredibly complex ways. It’s like a symphony with hundreds of players. And often enough, when we try to isolate nutrients, we miss out on powerful health benefits.For example, when it comes to the supplement, eleuthero, scientists have found that some of the isolated compounds, eleutherosides, seem to increase immune health. But they also found that none of the isolated eleutherosides worked as well for strengthening your immune health as taking whole eleuthero.[3]3 Tips For Finding Nutritional Supplements That WorkAs a doctor who’s witnessed hundreds of people recovering excellent health thanks to the use of nutritional supplements, I know this widely publicized editorial from the Annals of Internal Medicine has the potential to cause tremendous damage. By referring to a few non-representative and poorly designed studies to condemn nutritional supplements as a whole, the authors have robbed people of health options that can make all the difference.But I also understand the need, highlighted by the studies referred to in the editorial, for better understanding of how to choose and use supplements more effectively.Here are a few suggestions:

Do your research. Go beyond the headlines and ask questions. Get information that addresses all the questions I raised in this post. Learn more about the health concern you have, the nutrient you’re considering using and the company that produces supplements that provide this nutrition.

When in doubt, consult with a professional like a holistic doctor. As part of our professional work, we keep up with the research. In addition, we have our years of practice to draw on in seeing how supplements work on a case by case basis. A holistic doctor can help you determine the quality of a supplement. And they can help you decide if it’s the right one for your needs.

Consider using supplements that have already gone through rigorous quality assessments. For example, supplement distribution companies like Emerson Ecologics set high standards for the supplements they carry in order to help practitioners like me make good choices more easily. While you will need an official practitioner recommendation for purchasing from them, you will know that the supplements they carry are well vetted.
Become The Expert: Know The Best Supplements For YouThe most important thing you can do to use supplements effectively is to know yourself. Get to know your body and note how supplements work for you.And keep this in mind: Studies are important. But they also only capture a snapshot of the reality. Your unique biochemistry may not fit into this.Because of this, you can know better than any doctor or researcher what supplement works for you. When it comes down to it, no one else can do as good a job as you in making the final decision about which are the best nutritional supplements for you.While professionals like me can help you with guidance and advice, you need to be the expert when it comes to your health.Sources:[1] Eliseo Guallar, MD et al. Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(12):850-851-851[2] Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Calcium. Office Of Dietary Supplements.[3] Steinmann GG et al. Immunopharmacological in vitro effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus extracts. Arzneimittelforschung. 2001 Jan;51(1):76-83.

Best in Class Finance Functions For Police Forces

Background

Police funding has risen by £4.8 billion and 77 per cent (39 per cent in real terms) since 1997. However the days where forces have enjoyed such levels of funding are over.

Chief Constables and senior management recognize that the annual cycle of looking for efficiencies year-on-year is not sustainable, and will not address the cash shortfall in years to come.
Facing slower funding growth and real cash deficits in their budgets, the Police Service must adopt innovative strategies which generate the productivity and efficiency gains needed to deliver high quality policing to the public.

The step-change in performance required to meet this challenge will only be achieved if the police service fully embraces effective resource management and makes efficient and productive use of its technology, partnerships and people.

The finance function has an essential role to play in addressing these challenges and supporting Forces’ objectives economically and efficiently.

Challenge

Police Forces tend to nurture a divisional and departmental culture rather than a corporate one, with individual procurement activities that do not exploit economies of scale. This is in part the result of over a decade of devolving functions from the center to the.divisions.

In order to reduce costs, improve efficiency and mitigate against the threat of “top down” mandatory, centrally-driven initiatives, Police Forces need to set up a corporate back office and induce behavioral change. This change must involve compliance with a corporate culture rather than a series of silos running through the organization.

Developing a Best in Class Finance Function

Traditionally finance functions within Police Forces have focused on transactional processing with only limited support for management information and business decision support. With a renewed focus on efficiencies, there is now a pressing need for finance departments to transform in order to add greater value to the force but with minimal costs.

1) Aligning to Force Strategy

As Police Forces need finance to function, it is imperative that finance and operations are closely aligned. This collaboration can be very powerful and help deliver significant improvements to a Force, but in order to achieve this model, there are many barriers to overcome. Finance Directors must look at whether their Force is ready for this collaboration, but more importantly, they must consider whether the Force itself can survive without it.

Finance requires a clear vision that centers around its role as a balanced business partner. However to achieve this vision a huge effort is required from the bottom up to understand the significant complexity in underlying systems and processes and to devise a way forward that can work for that particular organization.

The success of any change management program is dependent on its execution. Change is difficult and costly to execute correctly, and often, Police Forces lack the relevant experience to achieve such change. Although finance directors are required to hold appropriate professional qualifications (as opposed to being former police officers as was the case a few years ago) many have progressed within the Public Sector with limited opportunities for learning from and interaction with best in class methodologies. In addition cultural issues around self-preservation can present barriers to change.

Whilst it is relatively easy to get the message of finance transformation across, securing commitment to embark on bold change can be tough. Business cases often lack the quality required to drive through change and even where they are of exceptional quality senior police officers often lack the commercial awareness to trust them.

2) Supporting Force Decisions

Many Finance Directors are keen to develop their finance functions. The challenge they face is convincing the rest of the Force that the finance function can add value – by devoting more time and effort to financial analysis and providing senior management with the tools to understand the financial implications of major strategic decisions.

Maintaining Financial Controls and Managing Risk

Sarbanes Oxley, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), Basel II and Individual Capital Assessments (ICA) have all put financial controls and reporting under the spotlight in the private sector. This in turn is increasing the spotlight on financial controls in the public sector.

A ‘Best in Class’ Police Force finance function will not just have the minimum controls to meet the regulatory requirements but will evaluate how the legislation and regulations that the finance function are required to comply with, can be leveraged to provide value to the organization. Providing strategic information that will enable the force to meet its objectives is a key task for a leading finance function.

3) Value to the Force

The drive for development over the last decade or so, has moved decision making to the Divisions and has led to an increase in costs in the finance function. Through utilizing a number of initiatives in a program of transformation, a Force can leverage up to 40% of savings on the cost of finance together with improving the responsiveness of finance teams and the quality of financial information. These initiatives include:

Centralization

By centralizing the finance function, a Police Force can create centers of excellence where industry best practice can be developed and shared. This will not only re-empower the department, creating greater independence and objectivity in assessing projects and performance, but also lead to more consistent management information and a higher degree of control. A Police Force can also develop a business partner group to act as strategic liaisons to departments and divisions. The business partners would, for example, advise on how the departmental and divisional commanders can meet the budget in future months instead of merely advising that the budget has been missed for the previous month.

With the mundane number crunching being performed in a shared service center, finance professionals will find they now have time to act as business partners to divisions and departments and focus on the strategic issues.

The cultural impact on the departments and divisional commanders should not be underestimated. Commanders will be concerned that:

o Their budgets will be centralized
o Workloads would increase
o There will be limited access to finance individuals
o There will not be on site support

However, if the centralized shared service center is designed appropriately none of the above should apply. In fact from centralization under a best practice model, leaders should accrue the following benefits:

o Strategic advice provided by business partners
o Increased flexibility
o Improved management information
o Faster transactions
o Reduced number of unresolved queries
o Greater clarity on service and cost of provision
o Forum for finance to be strategically aligned to the needs of the Force

A Force that moves from a de-centralized to a centralized system should try and ensure that the finance function does not lose touch with the Chief Constable and Divisional Commanders. Forces need to have a robust business case for finance transformation combined with a governance structure that spans operational, tactical and strategic requirements. There is a risk that potential benefits of implementing such a change may not be realized if the program is not carefully managed. Investment is needed to create a successful centralized finance function. Typically the future potential benefits of greater visibility and control, consistent processes, standardized management information, economies of scale, long-term cost savings and an empowered group of proud finance professionals, should outweigh those initial costs.

To reduce the commercial, operational and capability risks, the finance functions can be completely outsourced or partially outsourced to third parties. This will provide guaranteed cost benefits and may provide the opportunity to leverage relationships with vendors that provide best practice processes.

Process Efficiencies

Typically for Police Forces the focus on development has developed a silo based culture with disparate processes. As a result significant opportunities exist for standardization and simplification of processes which provide scalability, reduce manual effort and deliver business benefit. From simply rationalizing processes, a force can typically accrue a 40% reduction in the number of processes. An example of this is the use of electronic bank statements instead of using the manual bank statement for bank reconciliation and accounts receivable processes. This would save considerable effort that is involved in analyzing the data, moving the data onto different spreadsheet and inputting the data into the financial systems.

Organizations that possess a silo operating model tend to have significant inefficiencies and duplication in their processes, for example in HR and Payroll. This is largely due to the teams involved meeting their own goals but not aligning to the corporate objectives of an organization. Police Forces have a number of independent teams that are reliant on one another for data with finance in departments, divisions and headquarters sending and receiving information from each other as well as from the rest of the Force. The silo model leads to ineffective data being received by the teams that then have to carry out additional work to obtain the information required.

Whilst the argument for development has been well made in the context of moving decision making closer to operational service delivery, the added cost in terms of resources, duplication and misaligned processes has rarely featured in the debate. In the current financial climate these costs need to be recognized.

Culture

Within transactional processes, a leading finance function will set up targets for staff members on a daily basis. This target setting is an element of the metric based culture that leading finance functions develop. If the appropriate metrics of productivity and quality are applied and when these targets are challenging but not impossible, this is proven to result in improvements to productivity and quality.

A ‘Best in Class’ finance function in Police Forces will have a service focused culture, with the primary objectives of providing a high level of satisfaction for its customers (departments, divisions, employees & suppliers). A ‘Best in Class’ finance function will measure customer satisfaction on a timely basis through a metric based approach. This will be combined with a team wide focus on process improvement, with process owners, that will not necessarily be the team leads, owning force-wide improvement to each of the finance processes.

Organizational Improvements

Organizational structures within Police Forces are typically made up of supervisors leading teams of one to four team members. Through centralizing and consolidating the finance function, an opportunity exists to increase the span of control to best practice levels of 6 to 8 team members to one team lead / supervisor. By adjusting the organizational structure and increasing the span of control, Police Forces can accrue significant cashable benefit from a reduction in the number of team leads and team leads can accrue better management experience from managing larger teams.

Technology Enabled Improvements

There are a significant number of technology improvements that a Police Force could implement to help develop a ‘Best in Class’ finance function.

These include:

A) Scanning and workflow

Through adopting a scanning and workflow solution to replace manual processes, improved visibility, transparency and efficiencies can be reaped.

B) Call logging, tracking and workflow tool

Police Forces generally have a number of individuals responding to internal and supplier queries. These queries are neither logged nor tracked. The consequence of this is dual:

o Queries consume considerable effort within a particular finance team. There is a high risk of duplicated effort from the lack of logging of queries. For example, a query could be responded to for 30 minutes by person A in the finance team. Due to this query not being logged, if the individual that raised the query called up again and spoke to a different person then just for one additional question, this could take up to 20 minutes to ensure that the background was appropriately explained.

o Queries can have numerous interfaces with the business. An unresolved query can be responded against by up to four separate teams with considerable delay in providing a clear answer for the supplier.

The implementation of a call logging, tracking and workflow tool to document, measure and close internal and supplier queries combined with the set up of a central queries team, would significantly reduce the effort involved in responding to queries within the finance departments and divisions, as well as within the actual divisions and departments, and procurement.

C) Database solution

Throughout finance departments there are a significant number of spreadsheets utilized prior to input into the financial system. There is a tendency to transfer information manually from one spreadsheet to another to meet the needs of different teams.

Replacing the spreadsheets with a database solution would rationalize the number of inputs and lead to effort savings for the front line Police Officers as well as Police Staff.

D) Customize reports

In obtaining management information from the financial systems, police staff run a series of reports, import these into excel, use lookups to match the data and implement pivots to illustrate the data as required. There is significant manual effort that is involved in carrying out this work. Through customizing reports the outputs from the financial system can be set up to provide the data in the formats required through the click of a button. This would have the benefit of reduced effort and improved motivation for team members that previously carried out these mundane tasks.

In designing, procuring and implementing new technology enabling tools, a Police Force will face a number of challenges including investment approval; IT capacity; capability; and procurement.

These challenges can be mitigated through partnering with a third party service company with whom the investment can be shared, the skills can be provided and the procurement cycle can be minimized.

Conclusion

It is clear that cultural, process and technology change is required if police forces are to deliver both sustainable efficiencies and high quality services. In an environment where for the first time forces face real cash deficits and face having to reduce police officer and support staff numbers whilst maintaining current performance levels the current finance delivery models requires new thinking.

While there a number of barriers to be overcome in achieving a best in class finance function, it won’t be long before such a decision becomes mandatory. Those who are ahead of the curve will inevitably find themselves in a stronger position.

Credit Scores – How Do They Work?

Credit scoring is a complicated process and each of the 3 major credit
repositories have their own credit scoring models in place to determine a
borrower’s credit score. The 3 main credit repositories are Equifax, Experian,
and TransUnion. Equifax has credit scores that range from a lowest possible
score of 300 and a highest possible score of 850. Experian has a range of
340-820 and TransUnion 150-934. Just like computers have upgraded operating
systems over the years such as, Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows XP, the
credit scoring system versions update periodically also. Not all lenders use the
same version or the most updated version when obtaining a credit report and
credit score for a borrower. Therefore, this is one reason why you may have
varying credit scores between one lender and another.There are five major components or factors that help to determine your credit
score. Roughly 35 percent of your credit score is derived from your payment
history, 30 percent from how much you owe compared to how much you have
available, 15 percent comes from length of credit history, 10 percent from new
credit and recent inquiries, and the final 10 percent comes from various other
items such as the mixture of credit you currently have. Next we will discuss
each of the five components in further detail and explain the basic principals
as to how credit scoring works. This information is to be used only to help
educate and as a guide to assist with the basic ideas involved in credit
scoring.Payment History (35%)Your payment history is the most important factor of credit scoring.
Bankruptcies, collection accounts, slow pays and late payments, foreclosures,
judgments, and liens can negatively affect your credit score. However, an
established history of on-time payments and a clean credit history will
positively impact your credit scores and help to increase them over time. The
older any negative credit history or adverse credit factors are, the less they
will negatively affect your credit score. Therefore, recent late payments or
other derogatory credit will negatively affect your credit much greater than
aged bad credit.Revolving Credit Balances to Maximum Limits (30%)The second biggest factor in credit scoring comes from how you utilize your
revolving credit. The credit scoring models are going to look heavily upon how
much revolving credit you have available compared to how much you have used. For
credit scoring purposes, having all revolving credit or credit card accounts
maxed out to their limits is not a good thing, nor is it going to help better
your credit scores. You don’t want to pay off all of your revolving credit
accounts because that will not show the credit bureaus how well you manage your
credit. Your ideal credit ratios should be roughly 20-40 percent usage. What
this means is that if you have a credit card with a $1000 limit you do not want
to max. out the credit card balance, but you would want to maintain a balance
between 200 and 400 dollars. If you do realize that you have borrowed more than
50% of your available credit limit on your card or your balance is getting close
to your limit, you should either try to pay your balance down to the 40% mark or
call your credit card company and see if they are able to raise your limit. The
biggest mistake you can make is to let your balance exceed your maximum credit
limit. This will negatively affect your credit score a great amount.Length of Credit History (15%)The longer and more established your credit history is, the better and more
positive of an impact it can make. Someone who pays their bills on time for a 10
year period of time is a much better risk than someone who only has a 1 year
history of paying their bills on time, even if they both carry the same credit
score. When you pay off credit card accounts do not close them, keep them open
and use them periodically in order to continue to build an established length of
credit. Closing your accounts can actually have more of a negative affect on
your credit score due to limiting the length of time that particular account was
open for. The longer you have established credit accounts, the better it is for
you. It is possible to still have a good credit score with a short credit
history; however lenders may not approve you for optimal financing options due
to the lack of history still.New Credit and Inquiries (10%)The amount of new credit you have opened, will have somewhat of a minor impact
on your credit scores. If you have numerous inquiries resulting from applying
for a lot of new credit and add many new trade-lines in your credit report, this
can have a damaging effect on your credit score. First, it may negatively affect
your scores because you have a lot of new, un-established accounts. Second, it
can negatively impact your score because you have a lot of inquiries with
various lenders for various types of financing over a short period of time.
Credit inquiries can affect your credit score, not a ton, but enough to lower
your score. This is not to say don’t shop around or don’t have more than one
firm pull your credit when looking to buy a car or a home. You definitely should
use due diligence and shop between a couple of lenders to make sure you are
getting a good deal. When you are comparing quotes however, you should try to do
all of your shopping within a 30 day max. period of time. All inquiries that are
made when applying for an auto loan or a mortgage loan are treated as only one
inquiry when they are done within a 14 day period of time. Therefore if you are
ever told to not have anyone else pull your credit or else your scores will
lower, this has little truth to it. There is only one type of credit inquiry
that counts toward your credit score. That one type of inquiry is when you are
making an application for credit: such as a home loan, auto loan, credit card,
etc… When you pull your own credit, a creditor you already have an account with
pulls your credit, and/or a prospective employer pulls your credit, these do not
have any impact on your scores. Understanding this can help you make sure that
you do not fall victim to all of the urban myths regarding credit inquiries.Types & Mixture of Credit (10%)Having a mixture of the various types of credit will have a small impact on your
credit scores. For a person who has a good mixture of credit such as a home
loan, auto loan, 2-4 credit cards and maybe a personal loan this could be deemed
a good mixture of credit versus a different person who has 15 credit cards and
no other credit. The ideal number of credit cards to maintain is 2-4. Also,
other types of liabilities are important to have, such as installment loans and
a mortgage loan.”Knowledge is power” and the most important step to applying for a loan is to
understand your credit report, your credit scores and how credit scoring works.
It is highly recommended that every person checks their credit report at least
once per year to help protect themselves from inaccurate information and from
identity theft. A new law was recently passed that permits a borrower to have
access to their credit report one time each year for no charge to allow them the
opportunity to review their credit history and verify the accuracy of all items
listed. You are permitted to obtain a credit report from each of the three
credit repositories, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You can obtain your
free report by logging into the annual credit report and following
the directions. When you obtain your free report it will not contain your credit
score, but you can pay a small fee if you would like to find out what your score
is when you are ordering your free report. It is also highly recommended that
you pull a report from each repository individually as opposed to all of them
together so that you can dispute any erroneous information to each bureau
separately. If you report a problem to only one of the bureaus it will not be
fixed among all three of the bureaus. Remember the bureaus are separate of each
other and have no communication amongst each other either. Some creditors report
to only 1 bureau, some report to 2 bureaus, some report to all three bureaus and
some don’t report to any. This is why you must make sure that you check all
three credit repositories when you are utilizing your free annual credit report.
In conclusion, your credit is very important and understanding the basics of how
your credit scores are obtained is equally as important.Credit scoring is a complicated process and each of the 3 major credit
repositories have their own credit scoring models in place to determine a
borrower’s credit score. The 3 main credit repositories are Equifax, Experian,
and TransUnion. Equifax has credit scores that range from a lowest possible
score of 300 and aHere is a quick contact list for the 3 main credit repositories:Equifax Credit Bureau P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta GA 30374-0241 * (800) 685-1111http://www.equifax.comExperian (Formerly TRW Credit Bureau) P.O. Box 949 Allen TX 75013-0949 * (888)
397-3742http://www.experian.comTrans Union Corporation (Credit Bureau) Consumer Disclosure Center P.O. Box 390
Springfield PA 19064-0390 * (800) 916-8800 * (800) 682-7654 * (714) 680-7292http://www.transunion.com