One of the best ways to measure your overall fiscal fitness is to run an actual credit check on yourself, by requesting a copy of your credit report from the three main credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Maintaining your finances takes a lot of time and energy and even more… the quality of your life depends on understanding what is being said about your spending habits. So here are three reasons that you need to think about in order to care for the health of your money.
Checking For Inaccurate Information: Our lives are always in a state of movement, new home, new job, new car, new banks, new schools and new stores. With each new purchase, we confidently give out more and more of our personal information to store merchants, who then track our credit habits and even how quickly we make our payments. All of this information gets reported to the credit bureaus and then these agencies decide how credit worthy we are. But what happens if some of this information is mistakenly written down wrong or Jane Doe’s information is mixed up with Jean Doe’s? Inaccurate information can prevent us from getting the best interest rates on new purchases, costing a lot of money in high interest payments or even preventing us from getting that brand new SUV that we’ve had our eye on.
First indicator in Identity Theft: CNN Money reported that identity fraud hits a new victim every 2 seconds which is understandable especially with all of our information being handled by so many different people as we illustrated in the section on ‘Inaccurate Information’. The sad part is, many people don’t even realize they have become a victim until it’s too late or “Uncle Sam” informs them that they filed 2 tax returns last year. Once this happens, it takes months, even years to unfreeze bank accounts and countless amount of time getting lawyers to untangle the messy trap of scrupulous financial deals. By getting an annual credit report, we may be able to stop fraudulent accounts from doing major damage to our financial reputations.
Maintaining and Rebuilding Good Credit: By knowing what information is in our credit report, we can set up a strategy to improve our status with creditors. First, we can educate ourselves in knowing the factors that can hurt or improve our credit score. Then by taking deliberate actions, we can measure our improvements and actually see how our actions affect our score. Finally, wouldn’t it be great, going to the car dealership knowing what our credit score is and actually negotiating the best deal rather than simply hoping you can get a decent deal on that new car?
Now that you have a better understanding of why it’s so important to get your annual credit report I have some good news for you… it’s FREE!! So do it today by using the information below from usgov.com
Free Credit Reports
You are entitled to a FREE credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once every 12 months. You can request all three reports at once, or space them out throughout the year. Learn about other situations in which you can request a free credit report.
Request your free credit report:
Online: Visit AnnualCreditReport.com
By Phone: Call 1-877-322-8228. Deaf and hard of hearing consumers can access the TTY service by calling 711 and referring the Relay Operator to 1-800-821-7232.
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Make it a great day!
Marla J. Blanchard
MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions
Don’t keep me a secret, if you know someone who could use a bit of Bookkeeping TLC let them know that they are not alone and have them call me 805-764-1MJB (1652).