Use to be when you got a job after graduating high school and college, you could depend on working and retiring at that job like our parents did. Not anymore! In fact, a Bureau Labor of Statistics news release published in September 2010 examined the number of jobs people born from 1957 to 1964 held from the ages of 18 to age 44. Guess what that number was? 11 different jobs held from ages 18 to 44; that’s a new job for every 2.36 years! If you are part of this statistic, think you need to make sure your resume is accurate and up to date?
You might be reading this post and currently be unemployed and looking for a job, or employed and looking for a better job to improve your economic reality. You’ve got a resume; right? Now imagine for a second that every bit of information contained in your resume was put there by someone else. Would you want to make sure what they were saying about you was 100% accurate and true? You better freaking believe it!
You would want to know things like “did they get my name and address right” or “did they have the correct dates of my employment listed”? What if, god forbid, they put something derogatory in there that would stop you from getting that job or bettering your economic circumstances; would that piss you off? I hope your blood is boiling at the thought of something like this actually happening…because it is! Every single day…on your credit report!
Time To Grow Up
Let’s get something straight; if you don’t think your credit report is a resume, you need to change your mindset and become a better, more informed consumer! Hell; let me take that one step further and say you need to learn how to become a Credit Adult! This is exactly what Adam Levin pointed out in an article in the Huffington Post titled “5 Ways to Become a Credit Adult.” In it, Adam states that a lot of people see credit — good, bad or indifferent — as something that happens to them, not something that can be nurtured and managed properly and, of course, protected.
He goes on to say something I’ve been pushing for years; no one has a greater knowledge of what you do, nor a greater stake in your financial security, than you! So let’s go back to that resume question again; if every bit of information contained in your resume was put there by someone else, would you want to make sure what they were saying about you was 100% accurate and true? What if you found errors and inaccuracies; would you want them fixed immediately? Then why don’t you feel this way about your credit report?
Whose Report Is This Anyway?
Picture this scenario – but first FYI, while not blogging, I’m a realtor here in South Florida which actually pays the bills :). I had a gentleman call me from a New York phone number who was moving here with his fiance and starting a new job on October 1st. He told me he had already been in South Florida for 2 weeks and couldn’t find a place to rent. Naturally, I asked him why he thought that was. Any guess to the answer? You got it; his credit!
So I asked him; did you think anyone would run a credit check on you? He answered yes. To which I replied and…. He started explaining how this was wrong in his report , how that was wrong… Here’s what I asked him next; did you use a resume to get your new job here in South Florida? His answer was – yes! I asked him if he checked the work of the person who created his resume for him to which he replied; what person? It’s my resume – I did it! If it sounds like he was getting a little annoyed with me, it’s because he was. I asked him to bear with me a second because it was leading to a point he will use for the rest of his life.
So I then asked him if the credit report the realtors and landlords had pulled on him was his; to which he answered – of course! I asked him since it was his report, how did it manage to have so many mistakes as he claimed, to which he replied; I didn’t create the report! My point exactly; you didn’t, someone else did!
I asked him if he thought his resume gave employers an idea of who he was as a potential employee? He answered yes. So I asked him if he thought his credit report might create an economic reputation about him for potential landlords? As Gru said in the movie Despicable Me; LIGHT-BULB! The light bulb had just turned on in Mr. New York’s head and he realized something for the first time in his life; his credit report was his – but not created by him. He needed to find out what was in it, what it was saying about him, and more importantly; if it was 100% accurate as the Fair Credit Reporting Act states it should be!
The moral of the story is this; credit report accuracy is first and foremost a consumer protection issue. No one is a better guardian of your economic reputation than you so learn how to protect yourself! You wouldn’t trust someone to create your resume without checking it, so why would you trust that the information being reported about you in your credit report is accurate and true? The answer is; you shouldn’t! You might not have created the report, but the information contained in it is yours and will influence people to make decisions about you– just like your resume!
Ever have something like this happen to you? Do you agree, or disagree, that your credit report is your economic resume? Have you ever even thought about it in these terms? This is a great topic to share with others so please pass it along by clicking on one of the social media buttons