I recently came up with what I think is a brilliant analogy: checking your credit report is like going to the dentist. Allow me to explain. You know how when you go to the dentist, you get your teeth checked to make sure there’s no issues–no cavities, no receding gums, no gingivitis right? And then if the dentist finds anything out-of-sorts, you get it fixed. If you never visit the dentist, you could have issues brewing that you don’t even know about– pains and problems that could pop up later, causing you all sorts of headaches, toothaches and stress, and by that time you’ll wish you had just gone to the dentist’s, gotten checked, found the issues, and fixed them earlier. Just like a credit report! Get it? You check your report, much like being checked at the dentist’s, and if you see anything erroneous or simply don’t like your number, you get working on it to improve it. If you never check your report or score, you could have incorrect data dragging your score down, or simply never be able to identify the main things that are keeping your score low. Genius, no? I suppose TheNorthwestern.com gives a pretty good analogy too– and they do have a really good campaign going for them. Check out Kristi Cutts’ great article reminding consumers to get on their free credit checks:
“You visit the doctor to safeguard your physical health, but experts say your financial health can also benefit from a routine check-up. To make it easier for people to monitor their financial well-being, UW-Extension educators in Winnebago County are kicking off the “Check Your Free Credit Report Campaign: 2/2, 6/6, 10/10,” reminding people to view their three free reports each year on Feb. 2, June 6 and Oct. 10.
Consumers are responsible for checking the accuracy of credit reports prepared by the private firms Equifax, Experian and TransUnion and sold to other businesses.”
Click here to read the rest of Cutts’ article about UW’s credit awareness campaign.
I still like my analogy better, but you’ve gotta admit that those credit-check dates from the campaign are damn catchy.