If you know your credit is good, what’s the point in even looking at it? If you’re not going to use it anytime soon, why bother caring about what it says? If you know it’s not so good, what’s the point of depressing yourself by looking at it?
We all know that our credit report is important. Whether you’re making a large purchase like buying a home or financing a car, or even just purchasing new car insurance your credit report and score determine the best rates you are offered or if you’re even able to open that line of credit. It can be easy to think of your credit report as something concrete, but it’s not. It evolves and changes over time and with your financial habits.
Simply assuming that everything reported on your credit history is both factual and permanent can be detrimental to the health of your financial future. In the spirit of starting 2014 off with better financial health for everyone here are 5 reasons why checking your credit report(s) should be at the top of your New Year’s Resolution list:
- Dispute Information Older than 7 Years: It’s fairly common knowledge that negative reports on your credit are eligible to be removed after seven years. What most people don’t know is that this doesn’t always happen automatically! It’s important for you to know what is listed on your report and when it should be removed. By checking your credit each year, you can dispute and remove expired reports.
- Crossed Information: Did you know that if you’re married, that there is a good chance that your spouse’s credit information will be tied to yours, even if you’re not on the line of credit? While this may not be concerning if you’re currently married, but if you’ve recently been divorced, chances are you may not want to affiliate with your ex and their financial situation.
- Incorrect Information: It is fairly common for data entry for loan processing applications to be incorrect. Social security numbers, addresses, the spelling of your name can be entered incorrectly and it can be put on an entirely different person’s credit report
- Personal Information May Not Be Correct: While the information on your credit report might be yours, it can also be incorrect. Make sure your address, phone number, and employment information is correct.
- Bonus Tip: Stagger Checking your Three Reports: Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian are three major credit-reporting agencies. You are eligible for one free report from all three of the agencies. Starting in January, order one of your reports every three months. Work on cleaning on any incorrect information in each report. By doing this every year, you’ll have an up-to-date snapshot of what your credit looks like as a whole.
Take control of your financial future and start by wrangling your credit reports into submission. Be sure that the information listed is yours, that your information is correct, that outdated information has been removed and keep up on it all year long.