Discovering YOU Magazine October 2018 Issue - Page 24


Take Control of Your

Personal Information

Article by TransUnion

(BPT) - Understanding and managing your personal information is essential to achieving your life goals such as owning a home, financing an education, getting your next job or simply having the convenience of credit cards for everyday purchases. Banks, landlords, employers and many others need to authenticate your identity and evaluate your creditworthiness to determine whether they can trust you to make payments if they lend you money. This credit behavior determines a person's credit score. So, how do you take control of your personal information and maintain good credit health? Here are a few key tips for financial health empowerment:

Monitor your information regularly: According to TransUnion's July 2017 Credit Literacy study, almost half of consumers thought checking your own credit score has the same effect as when a lender checks it. Fortunately, this is not the case. When you check your information, it is usually reported as a soft inquiry and ultimately does not

impact your score. Checking your information regularly is encouraged and should be part of a habitual routine, much like regular exercise.

It's important to understand both what helps build credit and what negatively affects your credit. Once you are well-versed in your information, you are taking one important step toward being in control and can better inform your choices and be empowered to make the right decisions. There are many solutions available that provide easy access to your information, including TransUnion Credit Monitoring.

Make payments on time: Paying your bills on time and in full each month will show that you are reliable and more likely to pay back debts. Doing so will help grow your credit score, but remember, consistency is key. If you have missed a payment in the past, getting back on track and paying off debt should be a top priority. Having a positive history of on-time payments shows responsible behavior.