I never really cared about my credit score before. I knew it was somewhere in the low 600s and I wasn’t planning on a buying house anytime soon. Then I got married and that kinda changes things :)
So back in February I tried out a credit score tracking places and decided I liked Credit Sesame the best. They are free and doesn’t have that “try it for free for 30 days and then we will charge you $30 a month and good luck trying to contact us to cancel”. Not that I have been bitten by that in the past…. Any way… I did purchase a full credit report start out for 9 bucks just because I wanted to know where we stood. Turns out not too bad. We were at 685. Since then we have move up to 726! Have I mentioned I love paying off debt?
Now, the reason you need to track your credit score is because some places are really really really dumb. In this example, the dumb company is Macy’s (in their defense, Macy’s isn’t dumb. The way their store card is setup… that’s a different story). See, it turns out that when you sign up for a Macy’s store card you get two cards in one. See you have your Macy’s store card part and then your American Express card part. Now here is where the fun begins. We had the Macy’s card for about 6 month and were paying it off each month. Everything was great. In May, my wife decided to purchase makeup from Macy’s, but had to wait until they got the next shipment in. Once it arrived, she decided against getting and instead went to Target. She decided to use the Macy’s card to get makeup so she would still get points on her card for. Cool with me, I’m a fan of rewards.
Three months later and I get an alert from Credit Sesame saying that I have a negative impact reported on my credit score because I was over 30 days past due on my payment (did I mention they are awesome and free?!). It showed that it came from a division of American Express, which when I looked it up was the Macy’s division. Weird… We did have a remaining balance on (just purchased a wedding gift), but we paid it off last month (another wedding gift…). So I called up Macy’s customer service. They said they don’t handle these issues and gave me another number. Called that number they informed me that when you sign up you have two parts to your card, your Macy’s store card and your Amex card. The thing is, the Amex part is not activated until you use it at a store that is not Macy’s (in our case 6 month after opening the account). Once this happens, they send you a letter with an activation code. You need to take that code, log into your Macy’s account and “link” it. If you do not, you have no way to see what your balance is on your Amex side of the card. To add to the confusion, they still had my in-law’s address for the card. I still think it super dumb that I have to link my card to itself… how does that make sense? Luckily the person I talked to took my payment and had them reverse the ding against my credit
But the moral of the story is if I did not have Credit Sesame, I never would have known that there was hit against my credit or that I had a balance I owed on a card that was about to go into collections. They saved my credit score (which from what I hear it is a pain to try and get something posted on there off). I recommend using them or another credit score tracking agency that is free. They do soft pulls on your credit that do not effect your credit score with credit inquiries.
Do you know what your credit score is? Do you mind sharing what it is? Post in the comments!