In a world of hacks and data leaks, it’s more important now than ever to keep a close eye on your credit score. Contrary to popular belief, you can actually check your credit score as much as you want without any negative effects. In some few cases, pulling your credit report can trigger a hard inquiry that may affect your credit score; but this is not the case when simply checking the number. Known as a soft inquiry, consumers may check their credit score as often as they would like, this score typically ranges from 300 to 850.
While FICO and VantageScore are two popular models, you can easily check your credit score for free via TransUnion and Equifax and oftentimes on your individual credit card online accounts. There’s no limit to how often you check your credit score; but is it necessary to check it every day?
For most people, it’s fine to check it annually. But credit scores are constantly changing. You may want to check it monthly or weekly depending on your situation. It can allow you to track your progress to see what’s affecting the score and identify trends that can help manage your credit.
Situations in which to check your credit score include when you:
- Open a new credit card account
- Apply for a loan or lease
- Want to qualify for a mortgage
- Are searching for a job
- Need to build/rebuild credit
- Suspicious of identity theft
When Shouldn’t I Check My Credit Score?
It’s normal for small changes to occur daily, so checking too frequently can give you anxiety. There’s no need to be obsessive about it. But you should take a look routinely to make sure your credit is stable. Don’t avoid checking your credit score if it is low; it can help you find a reason and take the appropriate steps to improve your credit.
How Does My Credit Score Relate to My Credit Report?
Your credit score is a snapshot of the health of your credit. It reflects the data in your credit report, which essentially details how well you manage your money. In the report are your accounts, payment history, balances, inquiries, and various other details.
Negative information, even if it is incorrect, can lower your credit score. Outdated information can as well. It’s important to keep track of these things as some pretty serious details, even errors, can occur, including collections, repossessions, bankruptcy filings, and foreclosures. Identity theft is another reason to be vigilant. A lot of personally identifiable information is contained in the report, such as your name, Social Security number, birthdate, addresses, phone numbers, and more.
Why Did My Credit Score Go Down?
If a creditor performed a hard inquiry, it often means you are taking on new debt, or at least a new financial obligation. How much your score can go down depends on many factors, including the numerous credit-scoring models used. Multiple hard inquires over a short period of time can lower your credit score. The number can also decrease if you paid a credit card late or missed a payment. But it’s important to realize that credit scores fluctuate over time for a wide variety of reasons.
How Can I Fix My Credit?
American Credit offers credit repair services that can help improve your situation. If you have negative marks on your credit report or your credit score could be higher, we can help. Our model uses a pre-litigation process that forces creditors to respond to disputes, in turn getting negative information removed from your credit report. To learn more and receive a free credit consultation, call us at 855-274-1732 today.