Better Credit recommends you check your credit report at least once a year, if not more often, as part of your routine financial management practices.
If you’re unsure where to start, sign-up for a free report and FICO score at: https://www.ftc.gov. Along with the score you’ll receive a detailed explanation of your risk factors on your credit history that affect your scores. Every year the Federal government allows you to request a free report from the 3 credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion: https://www.ftc.gov
Better Credit recommends you check your credit report three to six months before to applying for credit, purchasing a new home to ensure there aren’t any errors or major changes on your report.
You do not want any surprises when you speak with the lender. Your credit card company may have signed up you for a credit monitoring service. If not, ask them to include your scores on your credit card statements. As an alternative, Experian offers these services at www.experian.com.
The information used to calculate your credit scores comes from these records, therefore make sure it’s accurate. At the moment, the bureaus keep your information separate from each other, that’s why you’ll find variations across all three reports. Is this your first time requesting a credit report? If so, verify that all three companies report current and accurate information. From there most people check their scores at different intervals — such as twice a year or monthly.
Let’s go into detail on this topic…
How Often to Review Your Scores
Your credit scores, which help lenders decide whether to extend credit to you and at what interest rate, are calculated from data in your credit reports. Those should be checked at least once a year unless you plan to apply for credit, particularly a car loan or mortgage, if you are working to build or rebuild credit, or for one of the reasons we describe later in this article. In those cases, you’ll want to check about once a month so that you can monitor your scores.
Better Credit helps you work on improving your scores. We connect with the 3 credit bureaus and continue to follow up with them until your scores are improved.
Once your scores are in a better position, we suggest you monitor them for trends. If you’re in the process of working with a bank, lenders understand that scores will fluctuate from day to day. Therefore your goal is to increase your scores so that you’re well within a range and not on the border. It’s more favorable if your score is 750 instead of 690 because a “fair” score on the board of “good” will not offer you better rates than a solid “good” score of 700.
It’s also important to monitor your score whether you are planning to borrow or not. In today’s world of hack-central, you need to ensure your identity is in tack. No longer is it safe to assume you have not been the victim of identity theft. Not to mention if a divorce has occurred within past 12 months. Your personal information can be compromised via a data breach.
Employers may check your credit score as apart of their hiring process. If you are in the process of applying for a new position, check your credit history right away and verify each item. At Better Credit, we recommend you monitor your credit on a monthly basis. This will ensure your identity is protected as well as keep you focused on improving your score.
Are you planning to make a major purchase soon? Or need to improve your credit scores? Contact us today and speak with our Better Credit experts.