Do you have good or bad credit? Do you know? Does it even matter? It is just three simple numbers after all right? It may only be three digits long but the final number that those digits create is quite significant. Your credit score is a key part of your financial and personal life. Here are some top reasons why you should endeavor to regularly check your credit score.
It Is Free, Fast, and Easy To Do
Checking into your score does not cost anything and it is relatively quick and simple to do, so why would you not routinely look at it? You can get your free credit score by spending less than 15 minutes online. Viewing your score does not usually influence your score either, because it only initiates a soft credit pull, which does not lower your score or reflect in your report as a hard pull does. In addition, your full report shows all the factors and events that affect your credit score. You can use this extra information to understand and improve your financial situation.
It Helps You Develop and Maintain a Good Score
Credit scores range from 300 to 850. The two most common credit scoring models are FICO and VantageScore and the three major credit reporting bureaus are TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Score ranges break down somewhat differently depending on which model is used and which bureau provides the scores. Vantage Score considers 300-499 very poor, 500-600 poor, 601-660 fair, 661-780 good, and 781-850 excellent. FICO calls a score of 300-579 very poor, 580-669 fair, 670-739 good, 740-799 very good, and 800-850 excellent.
Consistently tracking your credit score and working to understand all the components that heighten and lower it, helps you achieve and keep an advantageous score. Higher scores generally lead to lower interest rates, less money paid out overall, and greater approval odds. It often means better and more credit offers too. Credit offers ultimately provide ways to continue improving your score. Keeping tabs on your score also makes you more knowledgeable and prepared to answer questions about your credit.
It Allows You to More Quickly Respond to Changes
In addition to being more aware of your credit status, systematically following your credit score helps you efficiently recognize and react to any differences that appear. Credit scores are fairly malleable, and changes can happen quickly. Monitoring your credit score about once a month means that you can see what and when different factors affect it. You can then try to revise any deficiencies and continue good practices to keep your score at the level you want and need it to be. Sometimes you might even disagree with some of the changes you see and you may want to question or fight against them.
It Catches Mistakes and Fraud Issues Earlier On
Credit scores and credit providers are not infallible. The good news is that there are ways to correct any issues you might find. The first thing to do is make sure that it is not your fault. If it is your fault, then simply work to correct the error and improve your score on your own. If you are not to blame for the mistakes, you can file a dispute. To properly put in a dispute, you should notify the reporting bureau and the source of the false information. Be specific and detailed in your claim. Sometimes dispute claims even uncover identity theft, making regular reviews of your report even more important.
Carefully oversee your credit by habitually checking your credit score to ensure it is correct and safe. It is a free, swift, and straightforward process to check it at least once a month. You will be glad you do. In the end, your credit score might be a simple number, but the influence it has could seriously complicate your life.