|Greetings! |Financial Awareness
I have been teaching Financial Awareness this fall to the first graduating class of Life Signs (www.lifesigns.us
),a non-profit group in Madisonville, TN that helps women facing financial and environmental challenges. This program started in September and ended with the graduation in December.
We talked about credit scores, writing checks, insurances of all kinds, protecting themselves and their families financially. The common theme I see no matter who I work with is "You don't know what you don't know"
Awareness is the first step to change your circumstances. These women have some challenges to overcome, but they have all made such huge steps through this program. I am so proud of each and every one of them!
"The Money Mechanic"
January is Financial Awareness Month
One of the first steps to becoming financially aware is to know about your credit and what your credit score is. They are two separate things. A credit report is just that. There are three reporting companies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Your credit score is an actual number. Why are these so important to be aware of?
They are part of what determines your interest rate on credit cards, mortgages and car loans. Sometimes employment is affected. For example if an employer sees you have been late on payments, they may not see you as reliable. Keeping aware is also a good way to stay on top of identity theft. Here are tips on how to get FREE information to help you become financially aware! Don't fall for the commercials on T.V.
Step One - credit report www.annualcreditreport.com This is the ONLY authorized source for the no cost annual credit report
- When online select your state, then click "Request Report". You will need to fill in your name, address, date of birth and social security number.
- ONLY choose ONE reporting company this month (for instance Equifax). The reports don't vary too much from company to company. This way you can do this two more times during the year by picking one of the other companies.
- If you are uncomfortable doing this online, look for the paragraph under the block where you put the state. There are links to download a form to mail in. You can also call (877) 322-8228 to request a report by phone. Remember only get ONE reporting company.
- Now here is the most important part. When you receive the report - LOOK AT IT. Make sure it is correct. It will list all credit cards, mortgages, car loans, etc. Make sure they are yours. Make sure they reflect your payment history.
- If you find errors, follow the instruction with the report.
- Keep a copy for your records.
Step Two - credit score www.creditkarma.com This is not a FICO score, but it is provided by TransUnion and gives you a close idea for free. This website is very informative. Look around and see what you find!
This is only a small piece of how I help you become financially aware! It is a good start for January. If you want more help on a personal basis, let me know! 865.690.4646 firstname.lastname@example.org
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