Your credit score might just be the most important number in your life. It determines whether you’ll get loans, how much interest you’ll pay on them and even whether you can rent an apartment or not. If your credit score is bad, your life can be a little harder.
Since your credit score is so important, you’ll want to make sure to check it often. But how frequently is “often”? Should you check it every couple of months or every couple of days?
The short answer is, it depends on your situation.
Guidelines for When to Check Your Credit Score
At a minimum, you should check your credit score once a year. If you’re planning on making any financial moves, though, you should check it more often. Here are some transactions for which you’ll want to check your credit score beforehand:
- Apply for a loan
- Apply for a mortgage
- Search for a new job
- Open a new credit card
Advantages of Checking Your Credit Score More Often
The truth, though, is that the more often you check your credit score the better off you’ll be. Checking your score monthly or even weekly will let you make sure your creditors have gotten paid on time and that you aren’t overextending your credit accounts. You should also know that, despite common belief, you can check your credit score as often as you want without damaging it.
However, you may want to avoid checking your credit score every day. If you do, you either won’t see much change, or you’ll unnecessarily stress yourself trying to figure out why your credit score is down a point one day, but up two points the next.
Instead, try to focus on the overall trends your credit score indicates. Make sure your payments are always on time, that your credit accounts don’t have large balances and that you aren’t applying for too much credit.
Checking Your Credit Score During Uncertain Times
You should also know that during uncertain times you’ll want to check your credit score more frequently than when times are calm. Criminals love the opportunities that a crisis presents to take advantage of people through frauds and scams, and even if you know how to protect yourself from scams you may find yourself too occupied dealing with how the crisis is affecting you to realize you’re being scammed.
By checking your credit score more frequently, you can also act faster if you believe someone has stolen your identity. If your credit score indicates you’ve used most of your credit or have opened some new accounts you know nothing about, you can act quickly to shut the identity thieves down before a collections agency sends a report to the credit reporting bureaus and really hurts your credit score.
Check Your Credit Score Easily With First Alliance Credit Union
Checking your credit score is easy, and the more often you do it, the more knowledgeable you’ll be about your financial standing. You’ll also be able to react faster if any identity thieves have stolen your information.
While Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are all offering weekly online credit reports through April 2021 as a result of the financial uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, you can also check your credit score for free when you become a member of First Alliance Credit Union. You can see your credit score every time you log into online banking or our mobile banking app, and you’ll even get information about what’s good and what’s bad about your credit history so you know what you’re doing well and what you need to improve.
Want more information about when to check your credit score? Listen to this episode of our Good Money Moves podcast about monitoring your credit score.