Thursday, September 9, 2004

Credit lessons learned

Well, I've finished my online dispute of my credit report. Unfortunately, some of the problems with it can't be disputed online, so I guess sometime in the next few days I get to talk to someone on the phone about it. Fantastic. To Experian's credit (pun intended), their online dispute system is pretty convenient and painless. My hope is that eliminating the inaccuracies about my credit report will be beneficial to me at some point in the future. The lessons that I would take from this experience:
  1. Once you're ready to go out on your own, get a copy of your credit report. You can get a free one if you do something that would cause a credit check to be performed on you (getting insurance, asking for a credit limit increase, etc.). There are probably inaccuracies in yours too, and getting them cleared up ahead of time might help you get lower insurance rates or otherwise help you out in the near future.
  2. Strange things are considered when companies are evaluating your credit. They look at the highest balance you've had on each of your credit cards over the last two years (it's reported every month). At some point in the last four years I nearly maxed out the balance on each of my lines of credit, so it looks like I'm a total loser, even though I paid back all of them immediately before they accrued interest. They also record every time you're late for a payment, which I'm happy about, because I've never been late for a payment of any kind. Finally, they record every time you move, which is really bad for college students, since you often move a couple times a year.


Matthew Beermann said...

I actually tried recently, only to discover that I have no credit record whatsoever; zip, zilch, nada. I'm not sure whether that's good or bad, but it hasn't adversely affected me yet.

Travis said...

Ask Cody why it's bad not to have a credit history. :)