Would you like to sleep better? Check your credit report
Being financially healthy may help reduce stress that is keeping you up at night.
May 16, 2014 - Author: Wanda J. Roberts, Michigan State University Extension
May is Better Sleep Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that people who experience poor sleep are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality and reduced quality of life and productivity.
While that sounds a bit scary, Mayo Clinic provides some tips about how to get better sleep. One of these tips is to manage stress. An action you can take to get anxiety and stress in check is to review your credit report.
Why is my credit report important?
Your credit report has information that affects many aspects of your life. It will give you a snapshot of one aspect of your current financial health: mortgage debt, installment debt (i.e. car loans), and revolving accounts such as credit cards.
Barbara O’Neill, with Rutgers Cooperative Extension, says that every day; millions of people are “graded” with credit reports. The better your “grade,” the better your chances of obtaining a loan or credit card and obtaining lower-cost credit that can save thousands of dollars of interest. Credit information is also used in setting rates for insurance policies. In addition, potential landlords and employers use it as a character reference. It is important to understand that your credit report will only list debt related to accounts with financial institutions that provide information to the credit reporting bureaus. Also, you will not receive a credit score with your free credit report. FICO® offers an online option to answer ten questions to get a free estimated range for your FICO® Score.
Regularly reviewing your credit reports enables you to monitor them for mistakes and identity theft. You have the right to one free copy from each of the credit bureaus once a year. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. Michigan State University Extension recommends that you request a copy of your credit report at three different times during a 12 month period. For example, you may choose to request a copy from Trans Union in January, from Equifax in May and Experian in September.
Warning: the only website that is authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report you are entitled to under law is: www.annualcreditreport.com.
Another way to relieve your money stress is to take a financial health survey from MI Money Health to get your financial health score! It is confidential and your answers never connect back to your name. This survey can help you evaluate your current financial situation, provide ideas on how you may improve your financial health and connect you to resources in your local community.
We know that lingering stress and worry from our day can make it very difficult to sleep well. As we take the opportunity to control what we can, we are one step closer to being healthy – personally and financially.