Not many people spend too much time thinking about it, but every one of us has a computer file somewhere that contains all the information that makes up our credit history. This information will include our current and previous addresses, our income level, our outstanding debt and how much extra credit we currently have available to us. It will also show things like our repayment habits, whether or not we pay bills on time and if we have had any county court judgments made against us for payment.
It will be made available to companies who wish to see it for a fee, and it is surprising how many different types of companies now routinely make use of such reports. There was a time when only banks and other lenders used credit reports when deciding whether or not to give you a loan. However, these days, if you are for example thinking of renting a property, it is likely that the property agency will require a credit check in order to satisfy itself that you will pay your rent on time. Insurance companies also make heavy use of credit reports when assessing insurance premiums. Even large employers are now using credit reports to screen job applicants when they assess candidates.
Therefore, it can be seen that your credit rating can have a huge influence on you and your life. It can affect many important decisions that you might never have thought would be relevant to your credit history. For instance, you may not have been too worried about leaving an old phone bill unpaid after moving house, but the consequences can be quite serious.
Tips for Keeping a Healthy Credit Rating
There are some steps you can take to make sure your credit rating stays as healthy as possible. You can, for instance, pay your bills on time and reduce the amount of outstanding debt you have. You should also know that time is on your side because most negative elements on the report will not last forever.
You have a right to view your credit report, and this is generally a good idea as it allows you to make sure it is accurate. If there is any negative information on the report that is in error, you can have it amended or corrected. The credit reporting company has a duty to keep all information accurate and up to date. It can make a big difference so you should always inform the reporting company of errors promptly and give them the correct information.