WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW CERTAINLY CAN HURT YOU

We welcome back Chris Hudock, director of The Rising Tide Community Loan Fund to Poverty’s Edge.  Chris is strong supporter of our local communities’ small businesses.  He has been providing financial support to small businesses in the Lehigh Valley since 2005. 

You likely know that your credit score impacts your ability to obtain a loan from your bank.  But did you know that your credit score can also influence whether a landlord will rent to you or a potential employer can use such information when deciding to offer you a job?  It may even determine how much you pay for your car insurance. 

Various studies report that up to 80% of all credit reports contain errors.  Of these, it is reported that up to 25% contain errors significant enough to affect you financially because these errors often lower your credit score.  You could be denied a job offer or a mortgage for your dream home because of an error on your credit report.  What you don’t know CAN HURT YOU!

The problem with such errors is that you often do not know they exist until it is too late. Errors on credit reports have been around as long as credit reports have existed but it wasn’t until the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act was signed into federal law in December, 2003, that you could proactively review your report.  Under this law, you have the right to obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the nationwide consumer reporting agencies once a year.

By reviewing all three credit reports annually (and it is important to review all three since they are often not identical), you can hopefully identify an error before it negatively impacts you.  This allows you time to address the error before you lose out on the job offer, pay a much higher interest rate for your car loan or your dream house slips away because you were denied a mortgage.

Errors shouldn’t happen but they do; that’s just the way it is.  You may not be able to stop them from happening but there is no longer a reason for them to negatively impact you.  Annually review your credit reports; it’s free, and it may save you a lot of money in the long run. 

To obtain your free annual credit report:

Call toll-free:  1-877-322-8228 or visit www.annualcreditreport.com.

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