Potential credit impact of gym memberships

Many Missouri residents sign up for gym memberships at the beginning of the year to get healthier. While this is a laudable goal, people need to understand how doing so could potentially impact their credit scores.

Gym memberships come with legally binding contracts. Many people start gym memberships with good intentions but fail to regularly attend. When people sign up, they agree to pay monthly fees regardless of whether they go to the gym or not. People who fail to make their payments could face adverse reports to the credit reporting bureaus.

Gyms and other creditors do not have to have the Social Security numbers of their clients to report negative information to the credit reporting bureaus. They can report with just the names and addresses of people who have failed to make payments. People who find that they are not going to the gym or who need to tighten their spending should read their gym contracts to understand its terms. Many contracts allow people to cancel their memberships during the first year if they pay cancellation fees. People should not simply stop paying without canceling their memberships because doing so can impact their credit scores.

People can take better control of their credit by understanding the terms of contracts before they sign. People who are dealing with negative information on their credit reports might benefit from talking to consumer protection attorneys, who might review their clients’ credit reports and help them to dispute incorrect information. The attorneys might also help people to understand the terms of the contracts that they have signed so that they can understand the options that they might have. If necessary, the attorneys might represent people who are facing civil lawsuits for debts to help them to negotiate favorable settlements.