Credit reports can be a seriously tricky thing if you don’t know much about them and how they work. They can either be good or bad depending on rating. Credit scores can now determine whether or not you get a job, get approved for an apartment if your a renter. They can even prevent you from getting something as simple as a cell phone.
Credit reports and scores control a lot of your like these day. So it’s a great idea to keep an eye on them, and watch who checks your credit. It’s also a great idea to check the reports when you get the chance so you can see who’s been on it, who used your SSN last, and find out if there are any out standing bills owed to companies.
One of the things I’ve found to really be helpful is talking to your bank, if you have one. So many banks these days will run free credit reports for their members and even help you go over them and explain what’s on them to you if you don’t understand. A lot of banks will even try to help you fix the dings and dents in your report if they can.
For instance. If you have your bank pull your credit report and you find there are two “marks” on it. Mark being a company debt you owe. The bank, with your permission can help you set up an payment plan right through your account to help you pay off the debt without even thinking about. Each money they’ll take out the agreed amount from your checking or savings account and automatically make your payment for you. So all you have to do is continue doing what you do and let the bank take care of the technical side. There’s that option.
There’s also the option of pulling a free credit report and seeing the companies listed. Then you calling the company direct and getting what ever information you can about why do you owe, how much do you owe, or why did they run your credit in the first place. Which is a great way to see if someone has possibly used your SSN and tried to steal your identity and open accounts under your name.
The main way credit reports and scores work is a little confusing in the beginning. Lets say you go into a cellular phone store and try to or apply for service. They will typically run a credit check with your SSN and see your score, how well do you pay your bills on time, and some other things. Based on company policy. Therefore. That simple check puts what I call a ‘ping’ on your report. A ‘ping’ is a simple credit check. It will show up on the report. It lets you and the credit bureaus know that your credit was checked. Too many of these will actually look bad. So try to control how many things you allow to run a credit background on you.
There are three credit report bureaus that you need to know about:
Experian – www.experian.com
Equifax – www.equifax.com
TransUnion – www.transunion.com
Those are the three credit bureaus that monitor your credit reports. When checking your reports and scores. You need to remember to check all three of them Since they do all report different things and companies. A company chooses who they go through to run credit checks, and it is one of the three. So it’s important to check them all.
Also. The federal government has made it manditory that you get one free credit report check per year. Meaning you can go online yourself once a year and check your report and score from those three companies free of charge to you. If you feel you need to check it more than once a year. Usually your bank can do it free of charge to you because they take care of the fees as a complimentary service to their members.
So on a final note. Keep a close eye on your credit report. It’s very important to be safe then sorry.