Monday, December 5, 2011
New Year Credit Resolutions for 2012
Can you believe 2011 is almost over? How did those 2011 resolutions go? For me I would say I was moderately successful, in some areas I excelled, in others I failed. At the beginning of 2011 I could not run 13 miles non-stop, but here it is December 2011 and I can, it isn't pretty, but if I am being chased by a lion I know I can run for 13 miles before I collapse to the ground into a ball of jelly. In January I could barely run 2 miles consecutively.
What happens every year? Gyms are packed in January, then by February they are back to normal. When it comes to credit we don't have to commit to daily or weekly goals, just a once a year check-up. Actually, you could still salvage your 2011 resolutions if you slip this in before the end of the year.
Go to the government mandated site www.annualcreditreport.com to retrieve a copy of your credit report. Any other website offering a free credit report is only baiting you to get your money in some other manner, don't fall for that. If you hear a company advertising a "free" credit report or credit score on television or radio, keep in mind advertising costs a lot, so look for the strings attached to the "free" offer, there will be strings, annoying strings, you will hate yourself for falling into their trap, so don't. Avoid this all together by sticking with the site the government required the three major credit bureaus to create and maintain, www.annualcreditreport.com. Look at all three credit bureau reports to make sure all of your information is correct.
Here are some things to look for:
•Is everything reporting on-time?
•Are there any accounts that I do not recognize?
•Are the accounts I have already paid off reflecting paid in full?
•What available limits are being reported on my credit cards?
•What original dates are reporting on my credit cards?
•Is my address correct?
•Do I have a long lost account I co-signed for that is still active?
These are just some basic things to look for to ensure there are no problems on your report. Keep in mind, DO NOT close any credit card accounts as this will hurt your credit score. If you have an old credit card account that you have not used in a long time call the creditor to make sure it has your correct billing address. Credit cards should be used every 12 months at a minimum to make sure they are not closed down by the issuer.
This is a simple way to put your 2012 New Year's resolution in the books, but if you are an overachiever now you can go to the gym and not have to worry about your credit report. Happy New Year, all the best in 2012!!