We love keeping score…especially guys!
But that’s not our fault; it’s how we are wired. Besides we’re a nation of score keepers whether it’s with sports, business, games, sales, or whatever, we tend to relate better when we can quantify an event through score keeping.
Jesus even kept score (see Luke 15:4).
In the Bible it talks about the shepherd leaving the ninety-nine sheep to go and find the lost one. If score keeping wasn’t important to Him he would have left the one knowing that the majority was still on His team!
Yes, we are a nation of score keepers but I am often surprised that so many people are unaware of one of the most important scores we have attached to us – our credit scores.
It should be no surprise to understand the importance of knowing how your credit score can and will influence how much borrowed money will cost you. But let’s not stop there because while we know your score effects interest rates charged mortgages, credit cards and car loans, it also effects your ability to get good insurance rates, quality apartment living and even employment.
Do you know your credit score?
I’ve asked this question in seminars and have heard numbers thrown out like they were playing the lottery. Some would admit that although they didn’t know their exact number they knew it was good only to discover that financial institutions didn’t feel the same.
I’ve also seen those with pristine credit settle for high interest rates because they didn’t realize the power of their score. We all have a three-digit number that follows us around like our shadow and this score is based on our credit reporting. It’s determined by a mathematical formula too boring to get into but for now understand that it’s important enough to know that this formula creates our number.
FAIR ISAAC AIN’T ALWAYS FAIR
The largest and best known leading credit score company in the industry is Fair Isaac Corporation better known as FICO and their credit scoring ranges from 300 to 850 with the higher obviously being the better. Simply put, your credit score is one of your most vital parts of your financial life.
Reporting the score… When you think of credit score most people also think about credit reports. Sometimes these phrases interchange but they are different in the fact that one produces the outcome of the other. Your credit report is actually the history of your credit information in details.
It contains everything from your balances, delinquent payments, current credit information, personal information, bankruptcies and inquiries. The better and more accurate report means a better and more accurate credit score so it’s apparent that you find out what’s on your reporting to insure that everything is updated and legit.
FREE IS GOOD
That’s exactly the amount you pay annually to review your credit report so take advantage of it. Thanks to the 2003 Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax must provide a free copy to you every 12 months from a centralized source.
But they won’t send it out unless you request it! The three ways consumers can request their free copy are online, by phone or by mail. The only authorized source for consumers to access their annual report for free can be found by going to www.annualcreditreport.com. But be careful not to make a mistake in the web address because I’ve found that some businesses have set up websites that are very close in spelling and they may try to sell you the report versus giving them to you for free.
It’s time get everything out on the table, find your truth, identify all loose ends and uncover all hidden obstacles. If you don’t know what your score is right now, you must start working towards that goal. We all want our credit to be grade A but if are unaware of where it is at this moment it will be hard to move in that direction.
Shawn Dorrough – The WealthShift Strategist