I did something very adult the other day: I ran my free credit report.
The last time I did this, I was living in Virginia, which means it’s probably been two years since I even looked at it.
And I must say, even though everything was spic and span, I’m very glad I looked it all up, crossed my t’s and dotted my i’s.
Why? Because immediately after running the report, I was shocked to see I still had a store credit card opened that I thought I had closed. Or maybe I thought about closing it. Or maybe I THOUGHT I thought about closing it. Either way, it was very open.
Five minutes later, it was not.
It probably doesn’t really matter that the account was still open–I haven’t used it for years, and even then I always used it and then promptly made in-store payments so I never carried a balance for more than about five minutes.
And yet, I feel like there’s a tiny weight lifted off my shoulders knowing that everything on my credit report is exactly the way it should be. All of my student loans are accounted for, my singular, zero-balance, major credit card is marked as current with never a late payment, and they have correct addresses and phone numbers for me.
It’s pretty common knowledge that everyone can get credit reports each year for free from three different companies. It only took about 20 minutes to get PDF and hard copy reports from all three. (OK, two. I confused my computer and messed one up. But still.) And then it only took another 10 minutes or so to scan the information, make sure everything was correct, mark the accounts that are still open and completely understand what was going on. Another five minutes to close the credit card. In total, about half an hour gave me extraordinary peace of mind.
And next year, I’ll do it all again.