Check Your Own Credit
By: Wes Wallace
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - If you charged too much during the holidays, you're probably dreading your next credit card statement. However, there are some ways you can help improve your money matters.
Lee Schlitt with Capaha Bank offers some simple advice that really goes a long way.
He suggests logging online to get a free credit report, and check it once a year just in case something is there that doesn't belong.
"You could have a doctor's bill or something very minor that could get on your credit report. Maybe it's not supposed to be there, a wrong social security number or name mixed up and yet you didn't even do it," explained Schlitt.
Schlitt also recommended using all three major credit reporting agencies, like Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. They'll show you any lines of credit, whether it's an in-store card or a mortgage or other loan.
Schlitt said you need to have some open balance, because you don't want zero credit, "That's the point of looking at your credit history...to show you do pay your bills on time."
Having too much credit can hurt you as well.
"It's OK to have them (credit cards), if you show you have 25 cards, and you're not using them, it could show you have and could possibly access thousands of dollars in credit, whether you're using it or not."
Schlitt recommends comparing several credit reporting agencies, because you might find some differences.