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Time to check your financial pulse

submitted by Mary Camp, RE/MAX Properties, Ltd., GoHOMEwithMary.com

Much like getting an annual health check-up, add a yearly reminder to visit annualcreditreport.com and download your FREE credit report for all three credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.

Federal law provides this access to you at no cost every 12 months.

Review the reports from all three agencies because not all loan providers and credit card companies report to the same agency.

Mistakes do happen and the website provides the process to dispute discrepancies, which should be reported once known.

Recently, a tenant applied for a rental unit and part of the application process was running her credit report.

The landlord called and said, “you look great for being dead.”

Her Social Security number was erroneously tied to someone who passed away and she had no idea!

Like monitoring the number of steps you walk per day or tracking your weight, once you have your credit history and score, take measures to improve it and continue to monitor it.

A credit score is made up of various criteria including payment history. If payments are late or have been referred to a collection agency, that could have significant negative impact.

Applying for new credit, having a low percentage of available credit, maxing out on credit cards and the number of and type of credit all influence the score.

Many credit cards and sites such as CreditKarma.com and Mint.com offer free access to your credit reports and credit score at any time making monitoring easy.

Your credit score and credit history can affect many things, such as interest rates and eligibility for mortgages and other loans, the ability to rent housing, and even job applications so it’s worth the time to track your financial pulse.