Credit Corner: Public records are silent killers to your credit

It was a must that I download the Credit Karma app on my phone. I’ll explain why.

We desperately needed somewhere to live when we relocated. To my surprise, the rental company told us we had public records on our credit reports.

What the heck are those?

Then, went on to take my arm and leg off with the amount of the deposit. It was almost triple what my rent would be.

It cost us more money to move in because of some disputes on our credit reports. 

You have to be kidding me? 

I just expected the deposit for moving in would be rent + 1/2 rent. 

Wasn’t I sadly mistaken?

I HATE paying extra for things when I don’t have to. What ever form it may come in; interest, overdraft fees, etc.

Public records are some of the worse offenses you can get on your report. Some outstanding debts are taken straight to the courts of their jurisdiction. Can I just get the pesky phone calls that I can send to voicemail?

Many of us men think along these same lines. We may not be getting those phone calls. But trust that those debts are being passed along to other credit collecting agencies while tacking on interest. In our case, it was passed along to the courts.

My wife and I had to call and call the courts of Lansing to see what the issues were. (Lansing, MI is were we lived and our daughter was born.) The balances had been paid. But the dockets were still alive and kicking. Kicking my credit score down that is.

I’ve been monitoring my credit like a hawk since then. The Credit Karma app has been more than helpful. It is just as free as it advertises.

It gives a comparison of your TransUnion and Experian. TransUnion seems the easier of the two. By easy, I mean easily affected. Experian grades a little tougher. I think that is were the difference in scores comes in.

Anyway, after disputing those public records, I became close friends with the credit bureaus dispute customer service. It also became much easier to understand my report and what steps I needed to take to boost our scores.

The first step to financial freedom would be to at least know where you stand. The corny Credit Karma commercials raise a good point of regularly checking your credit report.

Dads get caught in the provider role. But our roles have expanded and some lessons were not taught. We are stuck in the here and now. As long as our needs are met, we get content. And checking our credit only adds to the many responsibilities we have.

It is just as important as the current purchase (In our case, rental) to know where you stand financially. And it’s no avoiding credit scores.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, checks to see how fiscally responsibility you are. Even employers check your scores. While people experience hardships, try your best to not let it reflect on you credit report.

The future may seem like a ways away, but credit scores affect you now and later. The task of monitoring your credit carefully is not that sweet.

So dads, be aware of the parasites bringing your credit score down.

Pennies count,

The Dollar Dad


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