There’s a reason why Santa Clause makes his list and then checks it twice!  It’s because people make mistakes.  Because people make mistakes, and because your credit score is calculated based on the information that people enter about you into a file- don’t you think you should get your list and check it twice?

Or at least once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus.

You’re entitled to a copy of your credit report for free, once every 12 months.  Many people either do not know about this, or just don’t take advantage of it.    Why would you want to leave the fate of your future in the hands of people and companies that really don’t know you or care about you one way or another?!

Case in point…. I just got a copy of my credit report.  I found numerous errors.   First of all, they had my employment wrong- they had me listed as if I was currently employed at a company that I hadn’t worked at in over 3 years.  They had my name wrong.  Yes, my name.  One of my school loans was listed as a car loan.

My errors weren’t anything that seemed drastic – but what if there were other people’s accounts on my credit report that was effecting my actual score?  This happens often when a father and son have the same name (one is a SR and one is a JR).  Careless recordkeeping can result in a complete mix up of your credit scores and accounts being put on the wrong person’s report.

ficoIf you haven’t checked your report recently, it’s highly recommended that you get your report – even if you have to pay a few dollars to get it and check it over – who knows what you may find!  Also, if you’ve been denied credit for any reason, you are entitled to view the report that the lender looked at to make sure that there were no errors that may have caused you to get denied for lending.

Knowing what your score is can be powerful too- because you’ll have a good idea what kind of interest you’ll qualify for if you do need to apply for credit. You’ll also be able to say “My FICO score is ###” when you are checking to see if you would get approved for certain credit- and while a lender would still have to pull your credit report before approving your application, they could at least give you some indication if the score is high enough to bother applying- and save yourself the inquiry on your report!

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