15 ways to ruin your financial future: Ignore credit disputes

You hear advice all the time about your credit score -- that you should check it often, what you can to boost it and how to resolve disputes. The advice is very practical and logical and easy to follow in theory. In practice, however, most people just ignore all of it.

I was one of these people until I had to face the consequences of my inaction, and that apathy remains one of my biggest financial mistakes.

I've actually done a lot of the other bad things people say not to do (I cashed out some IRA funds to buy a first home, I married a man who had credit card debt, I have not saved enough for retirement, I went to an expensive school, and so on), but so far, not resolving a credit dispute is the only one that has come back to bite me in the you-know-what.

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I think my story is pretty typical of what happens along the way for most people. I moved a long while back and charged the move to my credit card, then forgot all about it. Two years after the move, I got a letter from a collection agency saying that the moving company had never actually received the payment and wanted its money -- about $1,200.