March 17  Category: Playbook

Most of us realize that our credit report is reviewed when we apply for a credit card, mortgage, or car loan. However, it is often forgotten that your credit report may also be reviewed when you apply for auto or homeowner’s insurance, utility services, or a cell phone.

Landlords often use credit reports to decide among rental applicants. A potential employer may even assess an applicant’s credit report before extending a job offer. Your personal credit score is often used when a creditor is deciding whether or not to extend your business credit.

Many of these same creditors will also report to the credit bureaus if you do not pay your bill. Beware of what we at Credit Coach call “Technical fouls”. If you decide to change your cell phone company, change your insurance company, or move to a new apartment, make sure you pay your final bill in full. An unpaid bill will most likely get you a Technical Foul – by way of a COLLECTION ACCOUNT ON YOUR CREDIT REPORT. Imagine what that looks like to a potential employer or to a lender that you have applied for a line of credit for your business.

That’s why it is so important to remember the rules of the game. Even the small forgotten accounts (like unpaid cell phone bills) are considered fouls that can get you a penalty, and keep you from scoring!

Offensive Tip: Remember it is a smart play to notify all creditors if you move. Make sure your creditors always have your most recent address so that you’ll receive your billing statements promptly. Some creditors allow you to notify them of your change of address online. This also includes temporary address changes or PO Boxes.