Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Credit Score
Today, credit scores are the backbone on which financial transactions work. Whether it is trying to get a loan or applying for a credit card, your credit score is the key number that will decide whether you are successful or not.
Despite the importance of the credit score, most people don’t check their credit scores regularly or, a lot of times, are not even aware of what their score looks like. Here are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your credit score:
- Knowing your score means knowing where you stand. If your score is poor, then you can take steps to fix it.
- A bad credit score cannot be fixed overnight. Knowing your credit score means you can keep your scores healthy or nurse them back to health over a period of time.
- A credit score can also give you an idea about whether the information on your credit report is accurate.
- Sometimes, there can be a variation in your score which could imply that there may be some inaccuracy in your credit information. It’s best to check.
- You will be prepared for the outcome of your applications.
- You can respond to changes in your score quickly if you check them regularly.
- Monitoring your credit scores means you can apply for better interest rates if your scores improve.
How to Check Your Credit Score
There is a popular misconception that if your keep checking your credit scores, it will impact your credit. This won’t happen if you are using a credit scoring service to check your scores.
You can use free credit checking services like CreditSesame.com or CreditKarma.com, where you can check you Experian and TransUnion credit scores.
Another option is checking with your bank. Banks often offer credit monitoring services for at least one of your credit scores.
You can go directly to the credit bureaus and buy your credit score from them. Equifax, TransUnion and Experian all offer monthly paid credit monitoring services.
A new way to get your credit score is through the FICO Open Access program. This program is available through credit card issuers like Chase, Bank of America, Discover, Commerce Bank, AmEx, Barclaycard, First Bankcard and even the Walmart credit card. The service will give you a free score with your credit card statement along with an analysis of factors that are affecting your credit score.
How Frequently to Check Your Credit Score
If you are a responsible spender, i.e. you make your payments on time, and you don’t have any major investments like buying a house or a car coming up, then checking your credit score once a month is good enough.
Don’t worry if you see slight changes in your score if you check every day. This is normal. If, however, you see a big change in your score, please contact your credit bureau to dispute your score.
Different credit bureaus will have different scores too, so don’t worry about that either.