Watch For These Unwanted Surprises On Your Credit Report

If you scan your credit report annually, like financial experts recommend, you’re probably familiar with much of the information listed: name, address, social security number, existing debts and credit applications. If you look closely, however, you may find some surprising information that can have a negative impact on your score. Make certain to watch for these four items on your credit report:

Accounts That Aren’t Yours

This is an immediate cause for concern, and it happens more often that you may think. Typically, it stems from one of two scenarios: 1) the account belongs to someone who shares your name and it was mistakenly listed on your report, or 2) your identity has been compromised and someone is opening accounts using your information. In either case, you’ll likely want to file a dispute to have the account removed immediately.

Forgotten Debts

With the hectic pace of life, it can be easy for a bill to slip our mind for several months. Sometimes, we move and forget to provide a forwarding address to a utility company. In these cases, seeing a forgotten debt on your credit report can be a stroke of luck, especially if you catch it and make a payment before it’s sent to collections.

Hard Inquiries From Service Providers

We’ve all come to expect hard inquiries when we open a store credit card or consider a new auto loan, but these slight dings on your credit report can come from surprising sources, too. For instance, car rental companies are increasingly using hard inquiry credit checks, and cable providers have begun pulling credit scores with increasing frequency, as well.

There are many services that allow for monthly credit checks, and they can be a helpful financial tool in protecting your score. Take advantage of the tools at your disposal to protect your credit report from unwanted or surprising information.

Image via Flickr/janet162012