Annual health screenings allow us to consider our overall health while evaluating the need for lifestyle changes to prevent potential health problems in the future. Similarly, conducting a financial health checkup is equally important and crucial to your customers’ overall financial wellness. These checkups can help evaluate their current financial health and identify ways they can make improvements. A checkup also helps to ensure their financial information is accurate and, in doing so, may help them spot potential problems before they become catastrophic.
Encouraging consumers to check their own credit report, employment history, personal insurance history, consumer report, and financial professional’s history will go a long way in ensuring their financial health.
Credit reports. A credit report is one of the most important financial documents to review. A customer’s report may impact their ability to secure housing, gain employment, finance a big purchase, or impact insurance premiums. Anyone can get a free copy of their report from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Through April 2021, credit reports can be accessed for free on a weekly basis. You can verify the information, correct mistakes, and find ways to improve the report. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com.
Employment history. Potential employers, creditors, and landlords may base their decisions on current or past employment and salary. Many employers use an Equifax service called Work Number to maintain this information and provide a record about you to those you have granted permission. Request a free copy online: https://www.theworknumber.com/Employees/index.asp.
Personal insurance history. Two companies – LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Verisk – maintain information about a person’s insurance claims history, including the type and date of loss and the amount paid. These reports are available annually too.
LexisNexis Risk Solutions C.L.U.E. Reports provide a seven-year history of losses for both personal property and automobile insurance. To order these reports, visit: https://consumer.risk.lexisnexis.com/
Verisk provides an insurance loss history report service as part of the insurance underwriting process. Request a free copy of an A-PLUS loss history report: verisk.com/insurance/products/order-an-a-plus-loss-history-report/
Consumer report. LexisNexis Risk Solutions uses a combination of public record, publicly available data sources, and proprietary data and information to compile consumer files on individuals. These Full File Disclosure Reports contain information such as real estate transactions, liens, judgments, bankruptcy records, professional licensure information, and address histories. Obtain a free copy of this report here: consumer.risk.lexisnexis.com/request. Be sure to include the requested documents.
Verify Financial Advisor. Finding information on financial professionals can be confusing. Before spending time and money on a financial service, product or company, it is important to investigate before investing. Research financial professionals to make sure they are properly registered by visiting www.brokercheck.finra.org.
The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities offers many additional free sources of noncommercial investor protection and consumer protection information through a variety of publications and reports available on its website.
For help answering questions regarding your financial transactions, potential fraud or scams, or more details on the information above, contact the department’s Consumer Services Office at: 800.PA.BANKS or 800.600.0007.