Credit affects us greatly. Needless to say, everyone understands this. Or do they? I think that a lot of people know that credit affects us greatly, but the span of things in our lives that it can affect are far more than just loans and insurance. From employment to utility companies, just about anyone who is placing any kind of investment in you will at some point weigh your credit score into that equation.
Now, one might think that this is a good system. It gives people who are thinking of placing any kind of investment into your life a chance to see how you handle your responsibilities. On paper, there's nothing wrong with that. It's simple risk management and that is definitely something we should all be wary of. However, the system we do this through is fundamentally flawed.
The Federal Trade Commission has done multiple investigations into the accuracy of credit reports, and it's alarming how common inaccuracies are. In fact, it's more than likely you yourself have inaccuracies somewhere that you probably don't know about. Considering one in five people have reported inaccuracies in their credit reports. In 2013, Equifax was ordered to pay a woman $18.6M in damages for unfixed report errors.
In order to fix an error, it's a long process due to the nature of the business. According to FICO, you need to file a report with the items in question, provide the reason you are disputing the information, then providing as much evidence as you can to get the change made. Most of us know through the stacks of paperwork we deal with every year at tax season how difficult it is to keep track of every little transaction.
There are some things you can't even provide evidence for yourself. Some even have other people's mistakes ruining their credit score. It's surprisingly not that rare. How do you dispute information that isn't even your own? Whether we like it or not, this is how our world runs. Most of us go through our day to day not knowing how much it could mess up our lives. To those who do know, my heart goes out to you.
It's got to be an incredibly frustrating problem to have the system that was designed to help you, be working against you. Seems to me like that's how the world is run these days. There are plenty of problems that we just chock up to the world being the way it is that we honestly need to be taking a good look at fixing. Especially considering that the political climate we're reaching lately is going to call for us all taking a good long look and having a long discussion on how these systems work.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to find out what it's like to have this happen to me. I'd much rather feel like my hard work and kindness directly will get me the help I need, when I need it. That's a much easier and better way to live anyway.