The world runs on credit. Whether you're looking to buy a home in the next few years or you're just trying to get your next job, you may be asked to explain something ugly on your credit report. In order to effectively plan for the future, you'll need to know what that background credit check actually says about you. Here are four important things you might find when you conduct one of these critical checks.
Someone's been using your name to rack up a big bill
Many people conduct a background credit check on themselves only to find their score has been hurt by someone committing fraud. The good news is that you can dispute the findings on your report if they were the result of fraud. The bad news is that you'll never know to take this step unless you make the investment in your own background credit check.
Creditors are still listing an old debt
Creditors are limited to a seven-year reporting period with the major credit reporting agencies. Once seven years has passed since the last time you dealt with the debt, they are legally unable to list the debt any longer. When you conduct one of these checks on yourself, you may see a lingering debt that the creditor has slipped on to your report by falsifying the relevant dates. It's incumbent upon you to take action in those cases, informing the creditors of the faulty report item so they can have the item removed.
A delinquent debt that's keeping you from getting credit
On many background credit checks, you'll find some debt that you forgot about or chose not to pay any longer. This debt can hurt your credit score while keeping you from getting loans on cars, a home, or other things you might want. When you find out about this debt, you'll be able to take action. While it's very difficult to get a legitimate debt removed from your credit report, it is possible, if you work out a deal with the creditor. You'll never know whether you have options until you face reality.
Details that may keep you from getting a job or apartment
Some especially bad credit problems can keep you from getting your dream job or the apartment of your dreams. If you have a foreclosure, for instance, some employers may ding you on the basis of your financial risk level. You need to know about these things do you can do damage control with employers or landlords who are concerned.
Doing a background credit check on yourself is important. It will give you a picture into what the world sees when it spends money to check you out. Though facing this reality may be difficult and painful, it will also help you grow and make improvements to your financial life. You may even find items on your report that can be removed, raising your credit score a few points and opening up new possibilities. What's lurking in your credit history that you don't know about?