Welcome to another field exercise edition of Soldier of Finance. Today I’m going to be demonstrating how to properly probe your credit report for possible land mines.
When I was in basic training we had to do many, many different tasks, and I have already showed you how to do a proper military low crawl. While that was definitely one of the most annoying tasks we had to do, probing for land mines was equally annoying, but it was just as vital as all the other tasks we had to do. When we were trained as infantry soldiers everywhere that we went we were on our boots or on our feet. That was our main mode of transportation, and a lot of the different scenarios that we would run were if we were doing land movements out in the wilderness and then all the sudden we came across a mine field.
Mine Field Options: You Better Not Cry
When you come across a mine field in real life scenarios you have one of three different options. The first option is cry. Obviously, that wasn’t really allowed in basic training and definitely not going to be allowed if you are on a real mission so we don’t even need to address that one. The second option you can do is trace your foot steps back, meaning that if you find yourself in the middle of a mine field you can look back to see where you have stepped in and just basically trace your steps back out.
That is one option, but what happens if you have to go forward? If your mission is to lend support to some other operation and you have no choice but to go through, then the last option is to probe your area for a mine field. Now if you’re on feet it’s not as a big a deal, but if you’ve got a convoy of tanks or Humvees or other types of trucks behind you, you’ve got to probe a large area to make sure there is enough room for those vehicles to get through.
Probing For Mines Sucks
Probing for a land mine is a very tedious process, takes a long time, and there are proper techniques on how to do it. One of the things we learned in basic training is you do not want to probe directly on top of it. That’s why when you approach a land mine field they strongly suggest first you use your hands to smooth out and feel the surface to make sure there are no land mines. Then you can either get down on two knees or in a prone position where you are flush on your belly. Once you’ve declared an area safe you can start probing.
In basic training we had bayonets and those are the big long knives- think of Rambo knives- that we would mount on the end of our M16s. Today I am using my Gerber that has a nice knife and that allows just enough cushion to where you just start probing into the ground, softly but sternly, trying to detect a possible land mine. Once you feel that ding, that could be a rock. Hopefully that is a rock and not a land mine. If you do find a land mine, then that is when you would mark it with some type of marker and that’s when EOD (bomb control) would come in or the engineers and remove that land mine safely and securely.
When I was in basic training and we were probing for land mines, I recall being out on that range for almost an entire day constantly just probing and probing and probing; our drill sergeants just enforcing it.
Probing For Mines In Your Credit Report
When it comes to looking for land mines in your credit report, you have to take just as much time to carefully analyze your report. If you’ve never printed off your report, I am going to show you how to do it on the blog so please take a look, but when you actually go and print off your report it is a very, very big and long document. I just printed mine off; it’s roughly over 30 pages filled with my credit history since the day that I first got credit. I can’t tell you how imperative it is to go through this, scour through it, just like you would if you were in a land mine field, looking for possible errors that are affecting your credit score. In this day and age it is so important to make sure that your credit history is accurate because when you go to apply for loans, whether that be a home mortgage, a car loan, a personal loan, all these type things are greatly affected by your credit score, and if you have a bad credit score because of some silly error in your credit report then you could pay and exorbitant amount more interest because of that.
What Type of Errors Are You Looking For?
So what kind of things should you be looking for?
One of the most harmful things on your credit report is having some type of duplicate error.
What that means is maybe you were late on paying a bill where you had something that went to collection. If you didn’t pay it and you just let it sit, it could be possible that collection agency sold it to another collection agency so now you have two reports on your credit report for the exact same thing. That is detrimental to your credit report and your credit score.
Other items you might look for would be other delinquencies on other payments. Maybe you were late on a credit card payment, maybe a car payment, any type of payments you were late on; those are the type of errors you want to look for.
Other errors could be the misspelling of your name, an old address, an old job that shows you being employed there. These are the little things that you can look at just to make sure that things are on the up and up. I know when I first requested my credit report, this was right around college time. I was curious and intrigued and decided to look and see what my credit report said. What I ended up finding was I had an old gym membership from when I used to live out of state, and it was showing as if I was delinquent. I didn’t even live in the state there, hadn’t been to that gym in almost three or four years, but it was still showing on my credit report. I was able to rectify that, sent a letter, got it fix, got it taken care of. Now it is off my credit report, and now I have a good credit score. Had I never probed my credit report to find that land mine, then I never would have known any different, and they would have hurt my credit score going forward.
- First you need to request your credit report.
- Second, you need to probe through it as much as possible, looking through all the data to find if there is possible land mines.
- Third, if you do find a land mine then you need to rectify that situation, call an EOD, which in this case is just sending a letter to that proper agency to get it rectified.
If you are looking for more information to get your free credit report, head over to the soldieroffinance.com blog and look under the resources tab. There I have a wealth of information that talks about getting your free credit report and also your credit score. Very, very good information, be sure to check it out.