• Dave Fullerton

When Was Your Last Credit Check-Up?

You should have a yearly physical to ensure you're healthy, so why not do the same for your credit?


Don't wait until something comes up and you get turned down because of a bad credit score. Your future self will thank you for staying on top of it. And don't worry - checking shouldn't affect it! So, what should you be looking for in the annual checkup-the one that will help me stay on top of things while also keeping peace within myself, knowing everything's okay?


Common Mistakes

Make sure your personal information is correct and up to date. Also, check that your date of birth and other identifying information is correct.


Common Errors

Creditors sometimes make mistakes, so carefully check any information appearing on your credit that isn't true. If you find an error in their listing, notify them, they are required to change any errors you find on your report.


HINT: Send a letter to the credit bureaus to let them know there was an error on top of notifying the agency.


Outdated Information

Credit agencies must remove certain information from your credit after several years. For example, if you got behind on your payments but then returned to your regular payment schedule, that late history will be removed after 6-7 years. Please don't assume it will be; be proactive and follow up to ensure it was done.


Every year, credit agencies are required to remove certain information from your report. For example, if you got behind on payments but then went back and made all of them promptly, it should be removed after 6-7 years.


However, please don't assume that they remember! Be proactive by following up just in case, so there is no confusion or issues when updating things like insurance, etc.


Fraud

The importance of protecting one's identity is becoming more critical than ever before. With so many people having their identities stolen, it's essential to be innovative and ensure that you protect your credit.

You can protect yourself by being careful who has access to your information and changing passwords regularly.


Bottom Line

Even minor errors like a misspelled name or a wrong address can keep you from getting a loan or even lower your credit score. Keep your credit as healthy as possible by checking it every year. Choose a day that will be easy to remember, like your birthday or the day you file your taxes.