Podcast

Episode 385

Nov 5, 2021

Michael and Allissa discuss why you should review your credit report and what to look for when you do. Bonus: you get to hear them discuss the concept of treating your email inbox like a Facebook feed, and ignoring most of it.

Listen to "E385: Reviewing Your Credit Report" on Spreaker.
Image for E385: Reviewing Your Credit Report

EPISODE 385

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • Reviewing your credit report

Quick Tips

  • Always use earbuds or quality mic when doing podcast interviews

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message:

This episode is sponsored by the Original Jojoba Company. I firmly believe that massage therapists should only be using the highest quality products because our clients deserve it and our own bodies deserve it. I have been using jojoba for years, and here's why. Jojoba is non-allergenic, I can use it on any client and every client without fear of an allergic reaction, it is also non-comedogenic so it won't clog pores. So if you've got clients prone to acne breakouts, jojoba is a good choice for them. It does not go rancid. There's no triglycerides, so it can sit on your shelf for a year plus and not be a problem, and that's what also makes jojoba a wonderful carrier for your essential oils as well. It won't stain your 100% cotton sheets, so your linens are going to last longer. The Original Jojoba Company is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure first press quality jojoba, and we are delighted to be their partner. You my friends can get 20% off the price of their product when you shop through our link, www.massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

Hello everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we help you attract more clients, make more money, and improve your quality of life. I am Allissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

And I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

And we are delighted that you have joined us today. Michael, jump in. What are you reading?

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Get to it, I like it. What, I'm reading right now, okay, what I'm listening to right now is a podcast episode from the podcast that you recommended a while back, I guess not a while back, recently, called Life Kit. And the first episode I listened to already caused me a mental meltdown, because it's called most of the-

Allissa Haines:

Oh my God, me too.

Michael Reynolds:

Did you listen to this one? Yeah, yeah.

Allissa Haines:

I did and I can't wait to fight about it. Go ahead.

Michael Reynolds:

Yes, yes. So it said most of the email in your inbox isn't useful instead of managing it try ignoring it. I think the actual title of the episode popped up for me as like, inbox zero is broken, ignore it or something. Anyway the crux of the episode was that, hey, just stop trying to manage email, just ignore it and treat it like a Facebook feed, pop in there in your inbox and answer stuff if you want to, otherwise just ignore your email for the most part and let it pile up and let it wash over you.

Michael Reynolds:

So I was listening to this episode in the shower because I listen to podcasts in the shower, and I was like, I just stood there just like, oh my goodness, I cannot even handle hearing this.

Allissa Haines:

I swear to God I almost drove off the road. It gave me palpitations, but carry on.

Michael Reynolds:

Right? No, that's it, that's basically it, like basically that's the gist of the episode, is like ignore email, let it wash over you and don't keep up with it. And I understand that there are people that they live this way, like this is how they relate to email. I know them personally, like some of my friends are like this. But just hearing it described as a system for dealing with email and hearing that people do this, like once again just brought up so much anxiety. So I'd love to hear what you think about it, it sounds like you kind of had the same reaction I did, right?

Allissa Haines:

I did. I actually almost, if I had not been driving and then I forgot by the time I got where I went, I was going to send you the episode to be like, dude, this is going to freak you out. So, okay. so there was some real good in the episode, which was that this woman, I forget what her job was, but this woman talked about how she gets over a 1000 emails a day and she just could not keep up with them. And so her solution was to create an autoresponder that says, I am not able to get to my emails in a timely manner, if this is important, you should call her text me. And that's legit. I think that's fine. I think depending on your job and like for me I could probably pull that off, right? Because I don't have a boss telling me I have to communicate via email, I work for myself.

Allissa Haines:

And she really talked about letting go of the guilt of being able to manage this thing, like not being able to manage this thing is completely out of control and overwhelming. And so I really did appreciate the concept that, listen we've all like been trained dogs to believe that we have to be in constant communication and we get emails all the time. And I will note that this woman said that she communicates very well on Slack. So it's more that she has chosen Slack to be her primary communication and that works for her, whatever, for her company, for her associates, for whatever. So I really like the concept of being like, this isn't working for me, here's how I'm going to change it.

Allissa Haines:

But again, like I had that internal cringe and palpitations because she did acknowledge that she's missed some things. She missed enough opportunity to speak because she didn't look at the email, she's missed some stuff in her kid's school because she didn't look at the email, and alright, da, dra. And that would enrage me, like it enrages me when Walt opens an email, doesn't put something on the calendar for the kids, and then at 6:00 AM in the morning we're scrambling because it's whatever crazy Hap Day for school. Why do they do those things? I hate those things. Anyhow, so I feel like, if you have a life that can be well managed outside of email, like a life and work and stuff, rock on. But I also felt like this was kind of giving up in a situation where I don't, I personally wouldn't give up. If you're getting a 1000 emails a day there's a bigger problem here.

Michael Reynolds:

Exactly.

Allissa Haines:

Huge. Yeah, right.

Michael Reynolds:

Exactly. That's the issue. Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

I would be more inclined to create a new email address, send that to the people that you truly need to be communicating with and shut the old one down, and I mean shut it down so people get messages that bounce back. So they know that that email did not make it to you. And if it's really important, they're going to call you or they're going to track you down somehow. So I struggled with that a little bit, but it is worth to listen to it, it is worth kind of examining how you respond to it. I feel like a more balanced approach to better managing your email or just starting from scratch over again would be better than just ignoring it, but you do you people.

Michael Reynolds:

Right on. Yeah. So worth to listen for sure. So, you reading anything in interesting?

Allissa Haines:

No, just like lots of crap fiction right now because I'm tired.

Michael Reynolds:

I like it, I like it. So alright. Well, before we move on, let's give a shout out to our friends at ABMP.

Allissa Haines:

Yay, and sorry I forgot I was supposed to be hosting this episode and leading us into the next transition, my bad.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, obviously I just went ahead and did it naturally, so.

Allissa Haines:

All right, good job team.

Michael Reynolds:

Now you know.

Allissa Haines:

ABMP, man they say they're proud to sponsors the Massage Business Blueprint podcast and we believe them. And what I want to talk about is their apps. They have a five minute muscle app and a pocket pathology app. And they're super helpful, they're quick reference guides to help you find information you might need to make a quick decision for session planning. If someone walks in with some pathology you've never heard of, it's super easy to look that up and remind yourself of the contraindications. It is easy to use the five minute muscle app so that if you're not super familiar with whatever the ankle stuff, you can look it up real quick and then walk into that massage room a few minutes later feeling good about your approach. They use progressive web app technology to take up less space on your phone or device, they're included with ABMP membership and you can go www.abmp.com/apps to play with some sample demos of each app. Thanks ABMP.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks ABMP. We love ABMP.

Allissa Haines:

We really do. So Michael, you're going to talk to us today about reviewing our credit reports. Take it away.

Michael Reynolds:

I am indeed. So this will be pretty short. It'll be more like an expanded quick tip I think, pretty simple. But every now and then we like to go off the beaten path a little bit, and this is not necessarily specific to running a massage business, but it relates because it relates to money and keeping your life secure and all that is good for your business. So yeah, it kind of loosely relates. So as many of you know we've mentioned this multiple times before, in addition to being the less smart and less interesting co-founder here at Massage Business Blueprint, I'm also am a financial advisor. I'm an independent financial advisor, I own a firm or I help people with their money and stuff. And a lot of times, I should say a lot of time every year at the end of the year, what I like to do with my clients at the kind of end of year review meetings is to go through a list of things, kind of housekeeping items, and one of those things is to review their credit report.

Michael Reynolds:

So I thought it'd be a good idea just to kind of bring it up and kind of walk through it in case it's useful to anybody else. So your credit report is basically your history of all the stuff related to your credit and your interactions with borrowing and just some general financial information about you and your profile as well. So there are three credit bureaus, there's Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. And by the way I'm going to try not to soapbox about what's broken about our system of credit. So I'll try to stay away from that. If I go down that road, Allissa has permission to smack me down and stay on task. But it is what it is. We have these three credit bureaus that maintain these credit reports on us.

Michael Reynolds:

And it's a good idea to review these reports on a pretty regular basis in my opinion, because mistakes happen and often you can find things in credit reports that are mistakes that could be indications of just general clerical errors which are good to clean up, before they lead to other mismatches of data crossover. Or it could be indications of fraud or identity theft. And so it's a really good idea in my opinion to go through these and review. So I'm going to kind of walk you through what I typically do.

Michael Reynolds:

So first thing every year, I go to www.annualcreditreport.com, which is the free site that gives you free access to your credit reports, and download all three credit reports from all three bureaus. You can download them as PDFs or print to PDF or whatever gets them to a PDF and just kind of store them. And I review them. So I go through, and the things I look for are this, one at the very top is generally your contact information. So I make sure that your name is spelled correctly, your name has the right middle initial and stuff like that, just general, phone number is correct. And actually I've seen stuff where, I've worked with the client recently and her middle initial was incorrect in one of the bureaus. And so I encourage you to go get that corrected. And it's probably a minor thing, but we don't want to run the risk of your credit report getting mixed up with someone else's because of a name mismatch or an error in the name that's kind of looks you're someone else, that can cause issues. So we want to avoid that.

Michael Reynolds:

Next I look for addresses, it'll show all of your prior addresses, including your current address. And I like to look and make sure there's no address there that I don't recognize. That could be an indication that someone else's information has gotten dropped into your credit report mistakenly. So I want to look out for that stuff. So look for address information, make sure that everything looks correct there. And that's the next thing I'm going to look for. After that I'm going to go through and look at open accounts. These are accounts, like things credit cards, loans, auto loans, stuff like that, anything that is an open debt or a loan. And I'm going to look through that as well. I'm going to make sure that I recognize all the accounts that are open or even closed and make sure that they are legitimately tied to me.

Michael Reynolds:

If I see something in there where it's like I've never in my life had a Discover card, and there is an account showing from Discover on my credit report, that's going to be a concern. It could be either an error that, again a clerical error, someone typed in the information on the wrong credit report or indication of potential fraud or identity theft. I'm also going to look for, near the end of the report there's a section called public records. And in there I'm going to look for things, there's bankruptcies, liens and judgements that could be open. And you want to make sure that that's accurate. For example, if you are not aware of any bankruptcies judgements or liens against you, that should say no, none of these things apply, and then those don't exist there. So it should be kind of basically saying there's none listed.

Michael Reynolds:

If there is something listed again, that could be an indication of fraud or a scam. Someone may be opened an account in your name, ran it up, the card went to collections and now you've got this judgment against you didn't even know about, because someone opened an account in your name and basically stole your identity. So watch out for that stuff as well. And then as we get into the report as well, you're going to see things called hard and soft credit inquiries. The soft inquiries you can mostly ignore, those are basically if you get credit card offers in the mail or an offer for auto insurance from one of the big national companies, they're going to do soft inquiries to kind of say, hey, is this person eligible to receive this offer? And they're going to mail it out to you. You can basically ignore those.

Michael Reynolds:

The hard inquiries are things like, hey, if you go to get a car loan, they're going to pull your credit right there at the dealership and they're going to do a hard inquiry on your credit or if you open a credit card. You want to look at those hard inquiries and make sure that there is nothing there that does not look accurate. So if you haven't applied for any kind of a loan in the past year, and it's showing a hard inquiry from XYZ credit card company in the last month, that could be an indication that someone is out there trying to open accounts in your name. So that's the kind of stuff I would look through as I scan your credit report. Look for inaccuracies, look for accounts you don't recognize, look for addresses that aren't yours, look for anything that doesn't look legitimate or that you don't recognize.

Michael Reynolds:

And if you do see anything that looks odd or out of the ordinary, investigate it first, do some research and make sure it's not something you just don't remember. I mean, it's, it's possible that there's a company you don't recognize, but they're really apparent company to something else. And yeah, you did open that card or something. Maybe it's a store card that is owned by another bank. You look for stuff like that and do your research and make sure it's, you've really done the due diligence. And if you're still convinced there's an inaccuracy, then you want to dispute that with the credit bureau.

Michael Reynolds:

And on every website, Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, you'll see if you look on their website you'll be able to find places where you can dispute items on your credit report and you'll file a dispute online, and in theory they will correct those things. So, kind of a pain, it's kind of a, no one really wants to look through your credit reports and look for all this stuff. But I'd rather spend a little bit of time once a year reviewing this stuff, then let inaccuracies sit on my report or run the risk of not noticing fraud if it's happening. So that is kind of my simple walkthrough of annually reviewing your credit reports.

Allissa Haines:

Thank you, Michael. It's like an annoying and tedious thing to do, but I feel like it's the kind thing if you don't do it, and then you're trying to deal with some fraudulent thing that's seven years old that's going to be worse than just dealing with it in a timely manner.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. Right.

Allissa Haines:

Yay. Well, thank you. Thank you for that. Our next sponsor is PocketSuite. So let me tell you about PocketSuite people. I will tell you they know what therapists need. And some of that is 80% of massage therapists import custom contacts and contracts into the PocketSuite app. I'm sorry, I totally lost my place on my page because I'm having computer issues, well I'm having like wifi issues because of a storm. Okay. I'm sorry, I'm scrolling back. PocketSuite it's the all in one app. It makes it super easy to run your massage business because you can handle anything within the app and it's HIPAA compliant.

Allissa Haines:

So we're talking about texts and calls to and from your clients, they all happen via the app. All the appointment reminders and scheduling and payment and contracts and confirmation of cancellation policies, all of those things happen within the app in one place. It is super sweet, it is a one stop shop for your business. Massage therapist can be up and running in PocketSuite in 15 minutes. Massage Business Blueprint listeners can get 25% off your annual premium subscription for your first year with PocketSuite. And you can go to www.massagebusinessblueprint.com/PocketSuite, to check it out. Whew, sorry, stumbling a little bit this morning.

Michael Reynolds:

I'm so excited about PocketSuite.

Allissa Haines:

Oh, yeah. Tell me your quick tip and then I'm going to expand on it.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay. I do have a quick tip. My quick tip is always use earbuds or a quality microphone when doing podcast interviews. So, by the way I'm going to share half the responsibility on this and I'll get to that in a minute. But so, I often jump onto podcast interviews in different context. I find myself on different podcasts, not just this one. And so whenever I have an interview with somebody, I've noticed that a lot of the time the first will show up just kind of speaking at the computer with no earbuds or headphones in, they just kind of talk at the computer and it sounds they're on a speaker phone, and I'll say, oh, by the way, do you have earbuds? Can you get them? And they're like, oh yeah, okay, sure. And they like seem surprise and they'll look for earbuds and then we get it sorted out or maybe we don't.

Michael Reynolds:

And so I want to say that, the sound quality is just dramatically improved if you just get in the habit of using your earbuds or some sort of microphone when you are doing interviews. Whether it's a video interview or a podcast or anything where it's going to be recorded and published somewhere, the sound quality should be good. So now again, I take part of the responsibility because I often forget to prep the person and say, hey, by the way just so you know it'd be great if you could make sure you have your earbuds in or a microphone or something before we start recording that'll make the sound better. I'm guilty of just assuming everyone knows this and that's on me. So I'm trying to get better about prepping people before interviews. But I'm also kind of sharing this with the world or whoever is listening that, it's really good to get in the habit of just every time you hop onto any kind of recorded interview like this, make sure you're using quality earbuds or microphone then it's going to sound a lot better.

Allissa Haines:

Okay, I'm going to expand. People, we are all now on internet meetings all the time, and Zooms or Google Meets or whatever, we've been doing this for a couple of years now, this is the year of our Lord, 2021, get yourself a headset or some earbuds, not just for things that are being recorded, but for whenever you have to be in a meeting online, because there's two reasons. One, people are going to hear you better, right? And two, you are not going to be the Jack hat who's having a weird echoing problem, who's causing a problem for the entire darn meeting. And I say this as someone who was in a Zoom last night about, it was through the school system and it was for helping kids with IEPs and 504s transition into college. And it was a really great workshop except, and this wasn't like recorded, it wasn't whatever, it was not as fancy as a podcast interview, it was just a workshop offered to parents for free.

Allissa Haines:

The parents would hop on and then accidentally unmute themselves. And there'd be all this background noise that you totally wouldn't hear if they had earbuds in. And even the presenter didn't have a headset. So you were getting like, occasionally you get background noise and that's fine. But like sometimes it was hard to hear because it sounded a speaker phone. Come on this is also an accessibility issue because lots of these Zoom and Google Meet and all these platforms now, they have instant closed caption, which is really important for people with hearing impairments. But if you're using just a speaker on your computer and the sound quality isn't good, or there lots of background noise, those closed captions are going to be less accurate and that is not fair. Like it is not accessible to people who have hearing issues.

Allissa Haines:

So people, 2021, you can just use your earbuds from your phone. You could spend $20 to $30 and get a set of like a decent little foamy headphone and microphone attachment thing, like mine is like a Plantronics. I think I spent 30 bucks on it. They tend to last me four to five years and they work really well, and it's not crazy expensive. It's a game changer. You'll hear things better, people will hear you better, just do it. Okay I'm done.

Michael Reynolds:

Well, I wanted to say all that to you I just didn't. So I'm glad you did.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, it was ridiculous last night. It was just ridiculous.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Just, gosh, it's been years.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, I'm in the habit of every time I'm in a Zoom meeting I'm always got, like my headphones just come on. Like it's just like my earbuds go in, it's just a habit at this point. I can't remember the last time I joined a meeting without earbuds.

Allissa Haines:

I know, and I always feel embarrassed when I'm the person that's causing like that terrible echo issue, it's just the whole thing.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Earphones, earbuds and whatever, prevent that. So, if you my dear friends have a topic you want us to rant about, feel free to email us, at podcast.massagebusinessblueprint.com. If you just want to say hi or tell us how smart we are or tell us how wrong we are, you feel free. There's a topic you want us to cover, whatever, if you want to learn more about the blueprint mastermind, that's our private community for massage therapist, you can go to www.massagebusinessblueprint.com. I will also tell you that there's some good free resources, there's links to all of our sponsors. There's some pretty useful blog posts, thank you very much on that website. So check it out, see what maybe you want to learn and maybe come join us in the blueprint mastermind community. Michael, is there anything else?

Michael Reynolds:

No, I like it.

Allissa Haines:

All right. Thanks for joining us everybody, have a good day.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks everyone.

Logo for PocketSuite
Logo for ABMP
Logo for Jojoba
Logo for Yomassage
Logo for Pure Pro Massage Products
Logo for Acuity