So here is the story.
I remember buying my first home. This was also the time I realized an error on my credit report.
As I reflect on this today, I’m brought to the realization how important it is to monitor your credit report.
When I applied for a mortgage, they of course pull my credit. For some odd reason, I had an outstanding gas bill showing up on my report. Since I was still living at home and had never opened any utility account, this puzzled me.
Since my dad and I have the same name and the same address at the time, the credit agency must have associated the gas bill with my name and not my dads. Whatever the reason, there was a past due bill that was not even mine showing up on my report.
When the mortgage broker brought this bill to my attention I was like, I live at home and have never opened a gas account or any other utility account for that matter.
I was able to explain this to the mortgage broker at the time and it didn’t affect me getting a mortgage but it was an eye opener as to the errors that show up from the credit bureaus.
Cleaning up this error was another matter. I honestly don’t remember the exact process. But I do remember having to submit paperwork and prove that it was not my bill and that it was indeed my dads account.
To this day it baffles me that consumers are responsible for cleaning up after others mistakes. Especially for something as import as credit.
So lesson learned, it is a good idea to monitor your credit to ensure the information contained in it accurate. One way I’ve done this is by utilizing the free annual report from Annual Credit Report dot-com. Love that word FREE.
By law you are allowed a free report from each agency. If you space these out during the year you can get a clear picture and stay on top of what’s contained in your report.
Here is the plan I use to monitor my credit reports.
I pull a report every four months from Annual Credit Report.com
- On month one you pull your Equifax report. Review and make corrections if necessary.
- Then in another four months you pull your Experian report. Review and make corrects if necessary.
- Then in another four months you pull your TransUnion report. Review and make corrects if necessary.
This is a good way to keep track of what is on your credit report. I try to stick to this plan when I’m getting ready to apply for credit. I haven’t needed credit for a long time and If you follow me, you know I try to avoid debt like it’s the plague.
Another tip, if you are disciplined enough, don’t use a lot of credit in the first place. Hopefully, this is helps you in some way. Especially you young folks, I know from experiences its hard to concentrate on something this boring, but it’s really vital to your financial future.
Take it from someone who has been there and done that. Learn from others knowledge. Ok, enough ranting for now.
Have you had mistakes on your report? Which agency did you have to work with? Please comment and share below.