Thursday, March 12, 2009

First a baby, now financial records

As if the impending parenthood wasn't enough to qualify, I took one step closer to being a grown up last week. I ordered our credit reports. It's been on that infinite To Do list that we all keep in the back of our heads for years, but the follow through was actually totally impulsive. I was browsing MSNBC and ran across this quiz on whether or not you're a smart consumer. I scored a 70%, so it seems I still have some learning to do, but the questions were much different than I thought they'd be (very math-oriented), so I was actually pretty impressed I didn't get more wrong.

The quiz mentioned the website Annual Credit Report and how easy it was to actually get your credit report for free without having to cancel a subscription the next day the way you have to with Free Credit Report (though I still have warm fuzzies for them because of those commercials that I can't get enough of and know all the words to). So, lo and behold, the article was correct! It took about 30 seconds and I had our credit reports right in front of me, all ready to be printed.

I didn't bother to pay the $16 to get our scores and it was good I was such a cheapskate because about three days later B was reading a financial magazine and ran across yet another great website - Credit Karma. Credit Karma was recommended by all of the top finance mags and gives you your score for FREE with no strings attached. And not only do they give you your score, if it's less than perfect they give you the exact reasons why and tell you how you can improve it.

So spend 2 minutes of your Thursday and get one step closer to that weird land known as adulthood - go print out your credit report and get your score. Even if you know you have good credit, it's crucial to make sure that there aren't any mistakes or inappropriate accounts that you didn't know you had.



die Frau said...

I had to do that when we bought a house, only to find out that my ex-bf had skipped out on our old apartment, not paying the last month's rent. I know this because we'd put the apartment in my name: Ironically, I had the better credit report. So now a collection agency's got my name down as owing $700 to the landlord. It affected my credit rating and I don't have $700 to pay it off, nor should I.

Bottom line: If you're still dating, SPLIT THE BIG COSTS.

Thanks for the free site!

Strongmama said...

You can actually do it so that you can get a free credit report three times a year. There are three big credit reporting companies and you should schedule them out throughout the year so that you can get one from each of them at a different time. I have yet to remember to do this, but it's a good idea.

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