6/07/2013

Checking Your Credit Report is Important for Buying Long Beach Real Estate

According to DS News, 22% of Americans have never checked their credit report, according to Findlaw.com survey conducted in March, with about 1,000 participants.

Unfortunately, there is always potential for errors and negative information to be entered onto your credit report. And even though credit reports and scores as they currently exist came into usage in very recent history, after the economic downturn in the 1990s, they now have a major influence in our lives.

Obtaining a mortgage is one of the best known times when credit scores are reviewed, but also employers check credit scores to evaluate job candidates, insurance companies evaluate prospective insureds, and auto loan makers also pull credit.  I was once in the position of paying all cash for an automobile with a guaranteed check, yet the auto dealer still consulted my credit score online before finalizing the deal to make sure my overall profile fit who I said I was--they didn't want another "buyer" driving a new car off the lot on a phony check, never to be found again.

Protecting your credit, and your credit cards, may take additional work.  You may be at risk if you pay restaurant bills--where you have to give up your card momentarily while it's taken away out of your sight by the waiter for processing--and it's out of your hands.  It's an opportunity for a dishonest person to write down your card account number and use it later.  I rarely ever have had such problems to worry about, but this happened to me recently when I discovered my account number had been used by someone else to establish an account for, guess what, checking their credit at an Equifax site and I was billed a small amount monthly.  It went on for some time before I caught it (another reason to balance your account every month) and fortunately I got my money reimbursed.  But of course I had to cancel that card, write checks for a few days, and wait for a new card to be issued.  It was a time in which I was reminded that this is increasingly a plastic card world.  Writing checks is less common, and in fact there are some circumstances where checks or cash are not accepted and merchants want payment only by your credit card.  So keeping your credit in good shape is so important.

My bank offers a service where I now have credit card alerts sent to my email so that I can spot a problem right away--if you have Smartphone or mobile tablet, you don't have to wait until you get to a desktop computer to check your email or messages. It's working great. 

Here is the entire article at DS News.

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