Review Your Credit Report Often

Your credit report is your financial biography. It’s key to determining the interest rates you’ll pay on loans and can impact a job application if you work in certain fields. You’ll want to review all three of your credit reports at least once a year to ensure they are correct.


According to a Consumer Reports study in 2021, one in three people reported finding errors on one of their credit reports. There are three credit reporting companies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. You’ll want to review your report from all three. Just because your Experian report is correct doesn’t guarantee your Equifax report contains the same information.


Start by reviewing the personal information (name, address(es), and dates of birth) to ensure that the data is correct. If you see an address you don’t recognize, it could signify that someone has misused your Social Security Number. This could be an early warning sign of identity theft.


Next, review all the accounts reported to the credit bureau. Ensure you know what each one is for and that you opened the account. Also, look at the payment status of each account for accuracy. Even one incorrect notation of a late payment can significantly impact your credit score.

You can receive each of your credit reports free once per year at

August 2021 Questions and Answers


How can my business build a credit score?


If you haven’t already opened a business bank account, do this first. Next, apply for a business credit card. Although you may have to personally guarantee it, having a credit card in the company’s name will start to build your corporate credit history.

Ask your vendors whether they report payments to business credit bureaus. If they don’t, consider doing business with vendors that do. Then review your company credit report as you would your personal report, and correct any discrepancies.


How do I know if I should be making estimated tax payments?


Because the US uses a pay-as-you-earn tax system, you must pay your tax bill throughout the year. Generally, if you work a W-2 job, have a reasonable amount of tax withheld from your pay, and have no other significant source of income, estimated tax payments aren’t necessary.

Estimated tax payments are needed if you have self-employment income because you have no paycheck to withhold tax from. Also, if you have significant amounts of interest, dividends, alimony, or capital gains, then estimated payments may be necessary. Speak with your tax professional who can let you know whether you should be making estimated payments.