4 Reasons Checking Your Credit Report Is Good for Your Mental Health
It’s safe to say we all try to avoid the uneasy feeling that comes at night when we feel like we have forgotten something, haven’t finished our to-do list, or are regretful of how we handled a situation. Some say you should put a notebook by your bed to write things down instead of keeping them turning in your mind, while others say meditation and deep breathing can calm your mind. Another tip? Check your credit report regularly.
Checking your credit isn’t just important when you’re looking into buying a new home or taking out a loan; there’s a lot that can go wrong if you ignore it. Here are a few reasons to start making a regular habit of checking out your credit report and giving yourself a little extra peace of mind.
You can’t always trust the numbers — credit report errors are more common than you think. According to a 2013 study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 1 in 5 consumers had an error on at least one of their reports from the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. It’s a good idea to regularly check your report for any inaccurate details or outdated information, not to mention you can check for any signs of identity theft.
“Everybody should be routinely pulling their credit reports to make sure that everything on their credit reports is accurate,” says Scott Smith, president of creditrepair.com, a company that has been helping people resolve credit disputes for 20 years. “It’s really amazing how many inaccuracies are out there.”
Know your history
Spending money is easy, but keeping track of it is trickier. Combined with reviewing spending habits regularly, checking your credit report reveals how consistent you are about paying bills on time, how long your credit history is, and if it’s appropriate to apply for more credit or wait. Ultimately, checking it regularly is a way to keep yourself accountable and see if you need to make any improvements in your credit habits. Ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to credit history.
“If you have negative items in your history, you can gradually repair your credit by consistently paying your bills on time from now on, paying down your balances, and not taking on any new debt,” says Deborah Fowles, writer for the financial empowerment site the balance.
Prepare for the future
Even if you’re not thinking about purchasing a home or car right now, you never know what the future brings. Having the freedom to choose and the peace of mind that you can pursue comforts of living will benefit you now and later. Whether you make an unexpected move down the road, refinance your home, look for a new job, or find a new romantic relationship, life presents plenty of opportunities to justify keeping an eye on your credit reports now.
Apart from long-term financial considerations, managing finances now is probably something regularly found on your to-do list. If anything like the following applies to you, then it’s probably time you started checking your credit report regularly:
- Medical bills
- Student loans
- Cable, cell, or utility services
- Braces or other procedures requiring financing
A component of being financially secure and aware is knowing what your credit report says. Luckily, you can regularly keep tabs on your report by simply requesting a free report from trusted websites like annualcreditreport.com.
Ease your worries by regularly checking out your credit report. You’ll sleep a little sounder knowing you’re that much more in tune with your financial status.