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Preventing Debt With Your Credit Report

No matter who you are, having good credit can make or break many of the decisions you will make in life. Your ability to secure things such as credit cards, a home, a car and the other things that make life so great is determined by your credit. It can mean the difference between having a loan approved and rejected, or a couple of interest rate points on your mortgage (which can be hugely expensive). This is why reviewing your credit report every once in a while is a great idea. Errors do occur, and can be quite harmful (read about credit report errors here) over the long term. Failing to check your credit report from time to time can be a big problem, in that it can affect your ability to get a debt consolidation loan, as an example, a loan you typically only apply for when you need it. This is why it is important you spot errors right away.


Common Credit Report Errors

The three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Trans Union and Experian) are huge organizations. They handle most of the credit reporting for almost everybody in the United States, as well as some in Canada. Which means that it's quite simple for an error to go unnoticed. A very important one to look for may be a "crossed identity" error, which mixes or replaces your credit information with that of someone else (this person usually has a similar name as you). This can obviously be a huge matter, as you take not only the good, but the bad parts of the other person's credit history, which can be extremely harmful. On a similar, albeit more intentionally dangerous note, identity theft (explained more here) can cost you incredible amounts of money and credit damage. When your identity is stolen, the perpetrator will typically use your current accounts without permission, as well as open new ones, which obviously is damaging. The key defense you have here is to call the authorities as soon as you suspect something.


On a similar note, fraud is not going to go away any time soon. Unauthorized charges are a constant problem for credit card companies, and often you are personally at risk. Make sure that you report any suspicious charges quickly, and you will be OK.


Giant Companies Make Lots Of Mistakes
What happens when you get two large organizations working together? A very high potential for errors. Not a funny joke, to be sure, but it is the reality. Your creditors sometimes mark your accounts as unpaid or late, when they should be marked as current. This is often a case of human error, but can really harm your credit. Make sure you get these changed as soon as possible.


A final important credit no-no is to apply for credit often. Each time you apply for a credit card, leasing, a loan or any other credit transaction, it is noted on your history. This can be a problem. So try to resist applying for new credit unless you absolutely need it.


Avoid Problems Now - Find Out What's Going On

The best way to avoid credit report problems in the future is to know what's going on today. And the only way you can do this is to contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies, at least once per year. The cost is typically less than $20, and the piece of mind it creates is truly priceless. As well, some providers offer a subscription-type service, which lets you access your credit report more than once per year. Certainly, the choice is yours. But making the first step is key, as your best bet when attempting to clear up your credit is to find things early, and correct them immediately.


Having issues with debt and need debt consolidation? Contact us here for a free debt consultation. We may be able to provide debt help.

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