How Often Should You Be Checking Your Credit Score?
In a world where personal data is routinely breached, it is sensible to regularly check your credit score to be sure it’s not only accurate but that it is also not being used without your knowledge. While consumers are able to get their credit reports for free from each of the major credit reporting agencies, not many consumers know how often they should check credit scores and reports. In this article, we will discuss some of the most critical times that you should be checking your credit score.
When to Check Your Credit Score
What’s in Your Credit Report?
Your credit report contains a lot of personal information, such as your birth date, social security number, home address, previous addresses, telephone numbers, credit accounts, and payment history.
It may also list any repossessions, collections, foreclosures, and bankruptcy filings on your behalf.
Additionally, it also has a record of who has accessed your credit information. You will see the names of these creditors under the inquiries section.
How Often Should You Check Your Credit Scores?
Credit scores aren’t the same as credit reports, but your credit report does contain your credit score.
Credit scores help lenders decide whether to give you credit and at what interest rate. Credit scores are calculated using the information on your credit reports, and each agency will provide you a slightly different score.
It’s a good idea to verify your credit scores at least once a year, but there are other instances in which you should check your credit score, such as if you intend to apply for credit, if you are working to rebuild your credit, or for one of the reasons we will discuss shortly.
By doing this, you can track your credit score closely and get a clear view of specific trends in your credit.
When you do track your credit scores, be sure to look for more significant patterns, rather than small day-to-day changes. Lenders are well aware that credit scores change from day to day, thus small changes don’t have much weight in the eyes of creditors.
A little change might only be significant if your credit score is near the border of a credit score range, and you might be eligible to get better conditions for a credit score in a different credit range.
If you have concerns about your credit score, there are ways that you can work to reach your financial goals. Some monitoring services, such as SmartCredit, enable you unlimited access to credit information so that you can check your credit score as frequently as you’d like.
Critical Times to Check Your Credit Score
When You are Preparing for a Major Credit-Based Purchase
Your credit history is one of the principal variables used for loan approval. You’d be surprised by the credit report entries that could get your application denied. It’s a fantastic idea to receive your credit report at least six months before applying for a loan for any significant purchase so that you have adequate time to address any discrepancies.
When You Have Been Denied for Credit
If your credit was denied, by law, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report. The creditor or lender must send this letter to you within ten business days, and it will tell you why you were refused credit and will also include information explaining how you can get a free copy of the credit report used in determining your rejection.
Once you obtain a copy of your credit report, review it to be sure that the decision was not made due to inaccurately reported information.
In the event you find an error on your credit report, you can address the error with the help of SmartCredit, and request an updated copy of your credit report. You might have the ability to resubmit your application after your credit report has been corrected.
When You Suspect You are a Victim of Identity Theft
Unfortunately, identity theft is growing more prevalent, and it can go undetected for months and even years if you do not regularly check your credit report. In some cases, you may not find out your identity has been stolen until you apply for a loan or line of credit, and your application is denied.
Check your credit report to find out whether the accounts in question have been reported to the credit reporting agencies.
If you find your identity has been stolen, SmartCredit may be able to help.
When You Have Plans to Reach a Financial Goal
Your credit score is a great place to start when you are attempting to put together a plan to become more financially stable. Not only is this information simple to use to make your plan, but it can also help point you in the right direction to eliminate debt and address credit report errors.
When Significant Life Changes Happen
In addition to the above instances, there are several other scenarios in which you might want to check your credit score, including if you have recently divorced or if you are searching for a new job.
Check Your Credit Score with SmartCredit
Regardless of the situation, it is still wise to regularly determine that your credit score is healthy. While it’s not vital to check your credit score every month, keeping a watchful eye on your credit score can be helpful in many situations. Consider it as an early-warning system that could reveal a problem before something more serious occurs.
Don’t wait until you need great credit to verify your credit report. Check your credit report periodically to stay current on what your creditors are saying about you.
We understand that your credit score is a critical tool in your financial future. It can either cost you or save you a lot of money in the long-term. If you’re ready to take back control of your credit score, contact SmartCredit today not only to view your credit score, but view what items could be negatively affecting it.
Sign up with SmartCredit today to discover an easier way of checking your credit score!