Credit scores and credit reports have risen in importance beyond their original intent. They were created to provide the banking industry with a tool to help them make better decisions in regards to offering credit to their customers. Now it is often required by employers, when hiring workers. Whether that is good or bad is not something I'll debate here. Suffice it to say, it is important for you to know what is on your credit report, because decisions that effect you are based in part or in whole on them. Here's three good reasons you should get that report.
- Identity theft. This is probably the biggest scariest thing
that could happen to your credit. You'll probably be aware of this
issue before you get your credit report. The process for trying to
resolve all the damage though will involve getting your credit
bureau file. The information there will be needed to identify what
information is yours and what is from someone else.
- Mistakes. Think of all the things that could possibly go
wrong. I have personally encountered a large number of errors on
credit reports. I have come across similar names causing confusion,
similar social security numbers and social insurance numbers,
business id numbers confused with social security numbers and some
outright errors that made no sense at all. When we got copies of
ours in the course of our bankruptcy, my wife was listed as having
been employed by a company we never heard of. During that time frame
my wife was a stay at home mom with no outside employment at all.
Knowledge is power. You want to know about these kinds of mistakes
so that you can have them corrected. Even more common is information
that should have been updated and wasn't.
- Uncanceled credit cards or other accounts. I discovered this
the hard way. If you pay off a credit card and don't ask to have it
canceled, the account will continue to exist. Doesn't matter whether
you cut the card to pieces and nobody has sent you an invoice
showing your balance of zero in more than a decade. That card can
come back to haunt you even if you don't owe a dime on it. That has
happened to me. I've changed banks and credit card providers on
several occasions. All those zero balance cards were reported on my
bankruptcy even though I owed them nothing. It has and may create
unnecessary problems for me. Go through your credit report and make
sure every one of those accounts are closed.