Your credit score. This little three-digit number can determine a lot of things – whether a bank lends you money, whether a landlord rents you an apartment, or how insurers set your rates. Did you know that 47% of employers actually conduct credit checks on you before they hire you?
There are three credit reporting agencies out there – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The thing is, about 25% of consumers have errors in their credit reports. That’s a lot. These three companies were actually the biggest source of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the consumer watchdog group in DC, back in 2015.
What’s the possible result of having a mistake on your credit report? You could be denied credit, you might not be able to get a job, you might not be able to get a loan for a house.
Now you’re probably thinking, “I better check my credit!” You can and it’s not hard. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the three companies I mentioned a second ago are required to give you a copy of your credit report once a year. Just go to www.annualcreditreport.com and you can do it right there. A problem could take years to fix so be smart and proactive and take charge of your credit.
You’re probably wondering “with all of this potential trouble, why would I want my credit available to these people in the first place?” Well, unless you’re opening a new bank account, getting a new job, or renting an apartment, it’s really not necessary. The Federal Trade Commission allows you to place what is called a security freeze on your credit so that thieves can’t open new accounts under your name. Visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs or www.yourlovablelawyer.com to learn how to place that security freeze on your credit report.
Keep these tips in mind so you can take credit for protecting your credit.
That’s your shot of legal wellness for today. If you’d like to learn more, please subscribe. Until next time, I’m Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer.
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