It's about that time folks...
Where the onset of winter causes it to get a little "chilly" here in Michigan, and it seems like our days get shorter and shorter because it gets dark so early, and it gets freezing cold (although we've been luck so far with pretty decent weather) and we get all of that lovely snow.
But it's also that time where we start cranking up the heat in our homes! And you know what that means, right? HIGH HOME HEATING BILLS!
I'm 99% sure that the ever-rising heating costs are to blame for the difficulty DTE Energy has had over the past couple of years with collecting on those astronomical bills they were sending out.
There have been soooo many horror stories of people's home heating bills literally skyrocketing to double or more of what they paid for heat on a monthly basis from the previous year.
Lots of Michigan consumers faced difficulty paying those outrageous monthly bills, and ran the risk of having their gas service cut off - in the dead of winter.
So, I guess to make sure they get paid, and in a timely fashion (that's my theory, anyway), DTE Energy instituted a new credit reporting policy last year.
They "say" they report all of their residential customer's payment histories, both timely payments and late payments. And they report late payments after being 60 days overdue.
So as a word of caution... be aware that DTE Energy has a full-file credit reporting program.
If you pay your DTE bill on time or if you pay it late, your payment history will be reported to credit reporting agencies and will be reflected in your credit reports.
I know some of you out there may have DTE Energy as both your gas and electric utility service provider.
If you run into difficulty paying your DTE bills, contact them as soon as possible to set up payment arrangements or to see if you qualify for a payment assistance program. Doing this will help prevent any negative entries from being added to your credit reports.
And the same holds true for you readers out there in other parts of Michigan and the country where you're not serviced by DTE Energy. If you run into problems paying your utility bills, contact your local service providers ASAP to see what you can work out.
And even if you're not experiencing problems paying your utility bills, contact your local service providers anyway to ask about their credit reporting policies, if they even have any. If they do, ask them to send you a copy of the credit reporting policy in writing.