Apparently, once a year, you can go to ChexSystems.com and pull your free ChexSystems report. This is what the banks report to whenever someone overdrafts on their account or shuts their account down and tries to run off when they still have unpaid fees, checks, and overdrafts on the account.
Curious, I went online requested a copy of my report to be snail mailed to me (the only way), and not surprisingly, the report was uber boring. Haha! I had no delinquencies and just four inquiries.
Actually, there was one really interesting thing on the report. The Wealth Index. 0=no information on file 1=very low evidence of wealth 6=very high evidence of wealth. It takes into account public records of assets, like property, and uses that to calculate your “evidence of wealth.” Apparently, having a condo qualifies me for a three. ^_^
Here’s a breakdown of the three page report:
1) Your Basic Information (Name, Address, Birthday)
2) Reported Information (Malfeasance, Derogatory Information – Account Mishandling, Outstanding Debts)
-They say they keep this information for five years. Mine said: No Information Found
3) Inquiries Initiated By Consumer (As a Result of Opening An Account, for example)
-They say inquiries stay on the report as little as 90 days and up to three years. I had two inquiries from my current hometown bank, one when I opened the account and a second from around the time the new branch manager called me in for a “meet & greet.” I also had one from my online bank, and one from the tiny local bank dated about 7 months after I started banking with them. 😐 One of the inquiries made by my home bank was not initiated by me – I didn’t make any changes to my account or open another account, but whatever. Anyone checking my report can see these inquiries.
4) Inquiries Not Initiated By Consumer (As a Result of an Employer, Creditor, or Potential Investor Checking In, for example)
– This was blank. As it should have been. But it’s interesting to see that some creditors actually make sure people have the bank accounts that they say they have. You’re the only one who can see inquiries listed in this section, if there’s anything to see.
5) Retail Information (Derogatory Information – Returned Checks and Certain Collection Accounts)
– This was also blank for me. I think the collection accounts listed here are from retailers and businesses that you don’t have a credit account with, as far as I can tell.
6) History of Checks Ordered
– Mine was blank, and it really shouldn’t have been. Because I not only have checks with my all of my current banks, I’ve gotten checks from every bank I’ve ever been with. The report says it lists all check orders places in the last five years that it has on record, so I guess none of my orders made it on record.
7) Social Security Number Validation
– This was strange. It lists the year and state your social security number became available for issuance by the Social Security Administration. Strange enough, the year mine became available is four years after I was born, according to the report. 😳 Maybe they don’t issue them right away? Or didn’t back when I was born?
8) Additional Information
– This was the most interesting part of the report. This section contains information gathered by Lexis-Nexis Risk Solutions. Now, I’ve heard terrible things about this company (mishandling of information and things like that), but I’m not going to get into it because I haven’t actually looked any of this up myself. But the information they provided to ChexSystems is mostly public record.
Time at inquiry address, number of addresses reported in the last year, number of address changes reported in the last 5 years, total number of properties owned, Wealth Index (based on watercraft, aircraft, and property asset records), total number of non-derogatory accounts, total number of derogatory public records (felonies, liens, bankruptcies, and evictions), total number of lien records (both filed and released), total number of released liens, total number of bankruptcy filings, total number of felonies, and total number of evictions.
Granted, most of my categories said 0, but someone is collecting all of that information on everyone in the world, and this helps explain why an employer might pull your ChexSystems report. Hello.
The rest of the report is information on how you can contact the company and file a dispute, if needed. You get one free report a year.
This is all totally free and definitely worth looking over.