Do you know why you should check your credit report?
Of course you do, because you have undoubtedly experienced one working in your life!
No matter where you roam, your credit report follows you through life, updating all aspects of your life: your employment, where you live, your opened credit accounts, your closed accounts, your payment history, and even public records on you.
In this country, a good credit history brings you benefits of all kinds--a home mortgage, an apartment lease, an auto loan, or even more credit--with ease.
Like a job resume, your credit file carries a lot of weight, that's why you need to keep an eye on what it says about you.
Many options are cut off to you if you do not look "credit worthy" on paper. A bad report can mean higher rates on loans and insurance. It can also mean whether you get hired or promoted by a growing number of employers who now use them in the evaluation process.
Even if you think you have a good credit standing and you pay your bills on time, you still need to review your credit file for accuracy.
Studies have shown that credit files have an error rate as high as 70%, often the result of simple human or computer error.
Sometimes these errors show you being late in paying your bills when you are not. Your file might even leave out information that could sway a decision in your favor. The most common error is where damaging information of another person, with a similar name or account number, is mixed into your profile.
Monitor your personal credit file so that you are alerted whenever negative or derogatory items are reported against you.
A neglected credit file can lead to some major inconveniences in your life in the future.
You should fix mistakes or remove any incorrect information as soon as you find it. Errors that creep onto your report take time to correct. Catching these mistakes when they occur helps resolve them faster.
When you improve your credit worthiness you can qualify for better rates - which adds up to big savings for you.
Even if you think you have an unblemished past, checking your report lets you know what a future lender or employer will learn about you.
If your credit report is less than perfect now, you can deal with lingering problems effectively, and move towards a better credit standing in the future.
A good credit rating means more money in your pocket and less out the door!
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Mary Arce is a consumer advocate and author helping Americans solve their credit problems and save massive amounts of money on mortgage and credit card interest. WHY are some people getting RICH managing their debt?
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