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Your Credit Rating: Don't Get Mixed Messages: How to Find Out How You Rank

The other day I couldn't zip my pair of pants from last season. I took a good long look at myself in the mirror and I noticed how much weight I had put on around my middle section. "If I had only known," I disparaged, "I would have done sit-ups." I really love those parts.

 Ignoring your credit rating can put you in a similarly uncomfortable situation. I shouldn't have ignored my expanding waistline and no one should ignore their credit rating.

More and more of my clients these days are coming to me with no knowledge of their credit rating. They come in and say, "I want to plan for the future." I ask, "What is your credit rating now?" They just look at me blankly with a hint of embarrassment.

Other names for credit reports are credit records, credit histories, and credit files. They are referring to the same documents. They are records of borrowers' bill-paying habits. They are collected, stored, and sold by credit reporting companies. 

Your credit history provides important data that impacts your borrowing ability. Perhaps even more importantly, it determines how much you will have to pay a lender to borrow its money.

Obtain a copy of your credit file to ensure the records are exact, comprehensive, and timely before you apply for a loan for a major acquisition like a house or car, buy insurance, or apply for a job. Many employers are currently asking for credit reports for new hires as a reference of character. Knowing your credit score also helps protect you against identity theft.

You can get your credit report from a variety of sources. We firstly recommend you try For $27.00 including GST they will dispatch a copy of your credit file to you within one working day via email, fax or mail. If you have a little more time you can review the availability of their free service.

Read your report carefully, making a note of anything you do not understand. If accounts are identified by code number, or if there is a creditor listed on the report that you do not recognize, ask the credit bureau to supply you with the name and location of the creditor so you can ascertain if you do indeed hold an account with that creditor.

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