Anything I write that has to do with writing will be in From Pico's Pen, my author's blog. Everything that doesn't fit any of the sites I write on will be here. This is my practice. I could have kept it private and farmed out the good stuff but I found my readers like too much of it to do that. It isn't a diary because there are things I keep to myself but you can learn a great deal about me from the randomness you will find here.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Three Reasons to Get Your Credit Report

Courtesy Pixabay

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
I would encourage anyone who has not seen a copy of their credit bureau file in a very long time to take the time to order a copy from both Equifax and Trans Union. Those are the two main providers to the banks. The files will not necessarily be identical. Getting them both corrected if necessary is an important way to make sure you're treated fairly.