Knowing your credit score and your credit report has become increasingly important. With updates in technology and increases of consumer related fraud, we all need to keep an eye on our credit and our credit score for protection.
Why Do I need to Know or protect my score?
While you may not owe anyone, anything i.e. have a loan with anyone … well done by the way….. A bad credit score can still affect items such as your automobile and your homeowners premiums… no kidding (see this Forbes article.) We cannot blame them, there is data to check and it is their responsibility and ability to review it.
Bottom line a bad credit score or report may be costing you more money.
Where do I check my score?
As a pro-bono author for credit.com I created my own personal free account before agreeing to author a few finance related articles for them. Their service is free, handy, and delivers a monthly update of your credit score along with reasons on why it has changed, which it does frequently, as well as tips on keeping it in check.
There are multiple services such as banks, credit cards, and other financial institutions that show your credit score on a monthly basis, several of which I also receive. From my personal experience, the credit.com score aligns better with the most common score similar to getting a mortgage. The other institutions credit score is frequently far from the 300-850 FICO score most known.
How do I get a copy of my credit report?
After you get your score, you may want to get a detailed copy of your credit report. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com, which is a free service offered for your own protection by the three agencies. There are tons of sites out there that are not free and try to seduce you into paying an unnecessary monthly fee, this site has been checked and is safe.
You may request all three services or just use one and keep the other two available at a later time. This may be handy as you only get one free report per agency per year. If you stagger the reports you can inquire at different times, keep later dates open for inquiry.
If your report is good, there is likely no reason to get more than one agency report. If your report has deficiencies you may protest from the site as it is reported.
Taking time to review your credit and credit score is easy and may save you angst and money!
Have a great “Safe Credit” day!
John A. Kvale CFA, CFP