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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Protect Your Name Financially...

Most of us are proud of our names, or at the very least, we take great pains to defend our name in a public setting. Our name is our identity, after all. The rest of the world forever associates us with our name, and anything we do is immediately traceable because of it. Even if you don’t walk around with initial necklaces that spell out your name for everyone to see, your name is always with you and it will continue to define you long after your death.

Since your name is tied to everything you do, it is only natural that this includes all your finances – your incomes, your mortgages, the money you have spent in the past and the money you will spend in the future. Our past experiences go a long way in dictating our credit score, our legal record, and the account attached to any vehicle we have ever owned. All of these things, furthermore, have future implications. If you have a low credit score, after all, you surely are aware that your borrowing options can be limited and your finances severely curtailed.

But how do we synthesize all of our financial history? How do we know exactly where we stand in the eyes of a potential creditor? Why, our names, of course. To track your financial record, all you need to know is your own name.

There are a few places that you want to periodically search to determine that all your public records are in order. Even if you don’t plan on taking out a mortgage or making any large purchases in the near future, it’s always good to know that your identity is fully intact.

Here are a few things that you should regularly check:

-Your credit score. This is the obvious one, and can be viewed for free from several websites such as freecreditreport.com.

-Your public records. You may need to contact a political representative to get access to these, but most people can see their records on genealogy databases, available free at many public libraries.

-Your vehicle ownership history. This is best viewed through a provider like carfax.com.

-Your home ownership history. For this, try zillow.com or blockshopper.com.

-Anything else. Try a Google search for this one.

Searching for your name again and again may seem like something of a chore, especially if nothing comes up. But, if something does, you’ll be more prepared to react and to deal with the situation. It only takes one issue – or, even worse, one mistake – to impede your financial freedom for decades to come.

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