Checking Your Credit Score

credit score comparisonLast week, I wrote about credit score and how important it is to us especially during these times of economic uncertainty. I also mentioned the importance regularly monitoring your credit to check for irregularities.

Where can you check your credit score?

There’s this official site that allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. However, much can happen within a twelve month period that you might be interested in acquiring your credit report regularly (like quarterly or monthly perhaps).

You can look online for sites that offer free credit score reports. One of these sites is FreeScore. FreeScore allows you to check your credit scores from the three major credit bureaus – all in one place. FreeScore also offers an analysis of your score relative to others so you have an idea of where you (or your credit score) stand compared to others.

Just a warning though. Before you check your credit score with other sites, make sure that it won’t affect your credit because the number of inquiries made to your credit report also negatively affects your credit score. Checking your credit information with FreeScore will not affect your credit.

With easy and unlimited access to all your three credit scores, it will be easier for you to have a peace of mind with regards to your credit.

Your Credit Score and You

credit cardsDuring these tough economic times, having a good credit score is a must. You’ll need it when you apply for a loan, apartment lease, phone plan or just about anything.

In the United States, your credit information is reported by three major credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Credit scores can range from 300 to 850 – and in 2010, the average score of Americans is 723.  Needless to say, the higher your credit score, the better.

Your credit represents your creditworthiness – so it is a must that we take measures to keep our credit scores higher. Financial advisers have published various measures on how to increase your credit score, such as the following:

  1. Pay your bills on time. Delinquent payments negatively affects your credit score.
  2. Keep your balances low on credit cards and other revolving funds. Maximizing your credit limit might project the image that you’re desperate, thus lenders prefer that there’s a wide gap between your card’s credit limit and your outstanding balance.
  3. As much as possible, don’t close unused credit cards accounts. If you have to, leave the oldest card open because the length of your credit history also affects your credit score.
  4. Check your credit report and take measures to correct or dispute any errors.

You should also be in the lookout for any irregularities on your credit history. These days, identity theft is becoming so prevalent as hackers and thieves become more resourceful and creative in finding the information that they need to impersonate you. If you find some activities in your credit report that you’re not familiar with, investigate it immediately.

In this note, it might also be helpful to get some identity theft protection from companies such as IdentityHawk. These companies or entities are created to help consumers safeguard their assets, their properties, and their good names. They usually offer identity theft solutions that will give you a peace of mind when it comes to protecting your identity and your credit.