I’d like to share a personal story with you about why checking your credit report each year is so critical to maintaining the best possible FICO score.
My husband and I relocated to Huntsville, AL in the fall of 2006. My employer was in the middle of a large project, so I stayed on and commuted back and forth to Salt Lake City through May of 2007. I was also pregnant, due in July 2007.
During a trip to Utah in January 2007, I visited a retail store that I had a charge card for. I have a habit of making purchases and paying in full, and I didn’t think about not having a current address on file. The bills were sent to the old address, and the forwarding address had expired. I was subsequently sent to collections (yes, I just learned that today) and the account was charged off.
As I was referencing my credit report for my blog, I came across this item on my credit report which showed the account had been charged off.
The nice thing about your credit report is that underneath each creditor’s name it lists a contact number. I called and spoke to a representative who transferred me to the appropriate department. I explained to the representative that I thought my account was in good standing and paid in full, so I was confused how they showed a balance outstanding with a charge off.
She went on to educate me about what had happened in my absence and then proceeded to explain that because my account had always been in good standing that she would do the following. Are you sitting down?
• Waive late fees
• Waive interest charges
• Remove seven month’s worth of “negative standing” payments on credit report (past due 30, 60, 90, etc.)
• Remove “charged off” account status on credit report
• Remove “account closed by credit grantor” comment on credit report
• Re-open the account
• Thanked me for my business
I went from a black mark charged-off, negative payment history, closed account to a twenty year old, zero balance, open account in good standing. One simple call and a few bucks I should have already paid and I swung my FICO score by several points!
So what is on your credit report that you don’t know about? Go to annualcreditreport.com to find out!
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.
The Examiner and LPL Financial are separate entities.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.