Whoa, if you're a football fan that was an electric 4th quarter in the Super Bowl wasn't it? It may seem odd to start this step referencing football, but you know I have a tie-in for it. Since you've just completed the third step that covered all the evils regarding your personal debt profile, I wanted to try to make you feel a little better. Step three is tough, but the important thing is that you're ready to tackle it going forward. Shockingly, I read that a couple financed their trip to watch the Super Bowl in person. They took out a loan and plan to have it paid off in twelve months! Talk about bad judgment - they should be locked into a padded room... Anyways, I digress. It's one thing if you want to take a special trip that is planned for smartly or if you have a ton of extra cash in the bank. Onward to Step 4!
Today, I want you to pull your credit report if you haven't recently. You can do this for free once per year from each of the credit bureaus. You can also go to www.creditkarma.com, create an account, and get a free update regularly. I have an account there, and it does provide some nice updates that automatically get sent to your email. I view it almost as a friendly reminder to stay on track.
There are a lot of benefits to regularly checking your credit report and I advise everyone to put it on his/her calendar as an annual assessment. This will provide a listing of all the debts that have been reported to a credit agency. As an added benefit, this will show you if you forgot any debts from Step 3. Also, this could also reveal a mistake on your credit report that you need to get fixed. Errors are much more common than you may think and it can be devastating if you don't find out until you're ready to buy a house or car. Plus, it can show you if someone maliciously opened a new line of credit by stealing your identity.
I can tell this mini-series was a great idea from all the positive feedback that I've received thus far. It makes me happy, and sad ironically, to confirm that there is an unmet need of helping future clients tackle their debt and reach financial independence. Happy because we are a business that's customer focused, changing lives for the better, and fairly priced. Sad because our schools should've offered many of these lessons and budgeting skills before debt had an opportunity to creep into our lives. Please continue to share this mini-series to any friends and family and I look forward to more emails of your progress!