Your credit score is one of the most important official records in your life. It determines whether you can get a loan or a mortgage. The approval of your credit card application depends on this number. Sometimes, employers also check your credit record before giving you a job.
Given its importance, it is good practice to regularly monitor your credit score. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to obtain a credit report every twelve months from each of the three credit reporting agencies in America. These are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can either visit the individual websites of these agencies, or go to the only Federal Trade Commission-approved website, AnnualCreditReport.com, to order your free reports. You have the option to get all three reports at the same time or you can space them out over the year. Here’s why the latter is the better option:
Prevents identity theft
Regularly monitoring your credit report is one of the easiest ways to prevent identity theft. Too often, personal details are stolen and used to apply for lines of credit like credit cards and personal loans. We are usually unaware of these fraudulent accounts, and there is little you can do to detect these accounts unless you check your credit report. Regularly credit report will allow you to quickly identify accounts that are linked to your social security number that you have not personally opened. This will give you the opportunity to dispute the account and minimize the risk of identity theft.
Identifies errors in your credit report
Credit reporting agencies don’t always get it right. In fact, too often, there will be errors in your credit report which will impact your credit score. A bad credit history will affect your chances of obtaining more lines of credit. It can also raise the interest rates on your loans. With regular monitoring, you can detect these errors and quickly take action to correct errors in your credit report, there by minimizing the negative impact of these errors. In fact, it is always a good idea to order an updated copy of your credit report before applying for major loans to check that everything is in order.
Regular monitoring of your credit score is important. This simple number impacts so many areas of your life, from getting a loan, and the corresponding interest rates on that loan, to other seemingly unrelated areas like getting a job. By ordering your free credit report at regular intervals throughout the year, you can monitor your credit score, ensuring that the credit reporting agencies have not made any mistakes, and checking that there are no unfamiliar accounts in your report, thus reducing the risk of identity theft.