Your most intimate financial secrets laid bare

Curious about who might have been snooping on you? Check your credit file. 

(Photo:long evening dresses australia)Imagine a big manila folder with your name printed on it. Open it up, and you’ll see your age, aliases, occupation and former occupation, employer and previous employer, current and previous addresses, and driver licence details. So far, so creepy. But that’s only the front page. If you dig deeper, you’ll find detailed information on your most intimate financial secrets.

Was last month’s phone bill a smidgen overdue? It’s right there, in red ink. There’s no hiding your desperate attempts to shuffle debt from credit card to credit card, and that hire purchase from two years ago stands out like dogs’ balls.

Here’s the kicker: All this information is being sold to third parties, who will then scrutinise it and pass judgment upon your financial habits.

It’s called your credit file, and it’s time to get acquainted with it.

Credit bureaus keep all this information on record. Whenever you apply for any sort of loan, the bank or finance company involved will check out your file to see if you’re good for it.

Under the Privacy Act, you have every right to see what personal information they’re holding.

I highly recommend doing so. First, it’s a reality check. Lenders need to do this because it strips away the illusion. The beautiful house in the leafy suburb could be mortgaged to the hilt, the sports car leased, and the flashy suits run up on overdue credit cards.

Seeing it all laid out in front of you, right down to every monthly transgression, can be confronting.

Next, it’s free, and free stuff is awesome. It used to be a bit of a hassle getting hold of your file, and cost heaps to get it in a timely fashion. Now it takes all of five or 10 minutes. It won’t cost you a sausage, although you can pay $10 if you’re in a desperate hurry to get your hands on it.

There are three main credit bureaus. Make sure you request a report from Veda, Centrix andDun & Bradstreet, as they all have slightly different information.

The most crucial reason for checking is that there could be mistakes that need to be corrected. Lenders are often slack about updating information with the bureau. That means an old debt that you cleared 18 months ago could still be dragging you down.

This isn’t some rare event either – things slip through the cracks all the time. Be sure to check in at least once a year, or before you’re applying for a loan.

The worse your credit score, the higher the interest rate you’ll have to pay. That’s if the lender will accept you. If they don’t, you’ll have to go down to the next tier, which is basically loan sharks if you’re near the bottom already.

Even if you’re allergic to debt and know your credit report will be as pure as the driven snow, it’s still crucial to check in regularly.

That’s because you can see whether anyone is stealing your identity by applying for finance under your name. Again, this stuff really does happen. If you’ve got great credit, people literally want to be you.

Go have a close look at your file right now. You can guarantee the money men and women will be.Read more at:formal dress shops sydney

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