If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think twice about checking your credit score, unless you’re getting ready to apply for a new credit card or even a loan. In fact, there are even people who never check their credit scores. Some avoid checking their credit scores because they have a misconception that checking it will negatively affect their credit. Fortunately, if you use a credit scoring service to check, your credit won’t be impacted. Here are 6 reasons why you should check your report on a regular basis.
- Know exactly where you stand with your credit: The most important reason to check your report regularly is to know what your score is. The good news is that even if your score is low, you can take steps to raise it. Or if your score is excellent, you can focus on maintaining it. If you need to improve it, consider the following factors:
- Credit history – Without open and active credit accounts, you won’t have a credit score at all. Without a credit score, it can be difficult to get approved for a mortgage, car loan, or even an apartment.
- Available credit and usage – It is recommended that you use your credit cards and try to keep your credit cards below 30 percent of your credit limit to limit impact.
- Monthly on-time payment – You should make sure your monthly payments are paid on time, which could help boost your score, while late payments may bring your score down.
- Applications for credit – If you’re applying for credit, filling out several applications in a short amount of time may hurt your credit score. It’s ideal to keep the applications to a minimum.
- You plan on applying for a loan: Applying for a home mortgage will require a review of your credit by your mortgage lender. Checking your credit report before submitting your application may give you a better sense of where you stand. To determine how much home you can afford, use our home affordability calculator and also talk with your New American Funding Loan Officer. Your credit score may impact the interest rate or loan amount.
- To check for identity theft: If your social security number has been compromised and purchases have been made with your information, you may not be aware or notice the signs until you review your credit report.
- To detect and dispute errors: Believe it or not, mistakes and errors can occur on your credit report, which may affect your credit score. Checking your report regularly makes it easier to catch these mistakes. You don’t want to delay fixing these issues, especially if you’ll be applying for loans anytime soon. If you notice any mistakes, make sure you report it immediately to the appropriate credit bureau, so the issue can be resolved.
- Your credit may be affected by others’ mistakes: You may be diligent about paying your bills on time, but others may still make errors that could hurt your credit and they may not even realize it. If you happened to co-sign for a family member’s credit card or even a car lease and the payment is late, your credit may be affected. You may not know this is happening until you check your credit report.
- You may save money: If you have a good credit score, this could possibly save you in interest payments. If you don’t have an excellent credit score, reviewing your credit report may help you determine how to get your score up and resolve the negatives that are bringing it down.
Whether you are preparing to buy a home, a new vehicle, or just staying up to date on your finances, taking the time to check your credit report and credit score can help prepare you to take the next step. Contact a New American Funding Loan Officer to get started today!