Now we continue with Part II of my “moving” checklist for credit protection, if you have a client who will be doing a temporary move prior to buying a home, this information may save your transaction from calamity:
Make sure all utilities are paid in full and I would even go as far as to request something showing your account is closed out with a $0 balance
Same thing with any medical or dental providers, they often times won’t send out a bill for an amount not covered by insurance until 6 months or longer after the visit. This is a huge source of unexpected collections and credit score danger. Not a bad idea to request a print-out of your account to show it is zero just to make sure you can document in case there is ever an issue. Mistakes do happen at times resulting in things being sent to collection incorrectly. This will also let you know if there are any outstanding insurance claims that may become harder to address if you are no longer employed by the company providing the insurance coverage, this is an absolutely huge issue for people, I could write a book only about medical collections with the frequency and volume I see them, and many times there is a dispute about what insurance was supposed to cover, or maybe the bill was paid but not updated in the system, too many variables exist to trust that it will be ok, always assume it won’t and be sure by documenting.
Gym memberships and any monthly payment agreement you have that will not continue once you move, most agreements require at least a 30 day notice, so make sure that is covered to avoid the dreaded gym collection (all collections have the same impact regardless of dollar amount or reason/type)
Library materials, make sure everything has been returned and confirm your account has no fines that can be sent to collection, I have witnessed library collections many times. While laughable to think of, nobody laughs when it happens in their transaction.
Make sure all bills are being sent to the correct address. This is especially important for store credit cards only used sparingly. I have had people move, the mail forwarding expires, they haven’t used their XYZ Super Fashion store card in a year or more, and today is the day they will use it. It isn’t something they have burned into their mind to pay each month, so when the bill never arrives at their new address they don’t miss it. At least not until they get a phone call that their account is 30 to 60 past due, and now it has decreased their credit scores.
When it comes to credit the little things matter.
Clients can apply for a mortgage online at http://patrickritchie.onqtempe.com/ or call me any time.
Mortgage Finance Instructor
Ritchie School of Real Estate Finance
NMLS# 276438 AZ#0913109
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