How to Check Your Credit Score

You can check your credit scores from all 3 credit bureaus by using ScoreSense®. All you have to do is sign up for an account on the ScoreSense site. Your account dashboard will include all 3 of your credit scores and all 3 of your credit reports plus all ScoreSense’s available features.

Not only can you keep on top of your credit scores with ScoreSense, but you can also monitor your credit reports for errors, unauthorized activity and changes.

Why Should You Check Your Credit Score?

Your credit score is a three-digit number based on the information from your credit reports, such as payment history and amounts owed. It indicates your risk as a borrower to lenders. In general, lenders often consider borrowers with higher credit scores as less of a lending risk.

Checking your credit score is important for various reasons. Here are a few:

1. You’ll know where you fall within the credit scoring range

The most popular credit-scoring models operate on a range of 300 to 850, with scores at the lower end viewed as poor and scores in the highest tier viewed as excellent. Knowing your credit score helps you understand where you fall within that range.

2. You’ll know in advance how lenders might view you as a borrower

Knowing how lenders might view you can allow you to save money. Lower credit scores can equal higher interest rates. If your credit score isn’t as good as you think it should be, you can work to correct errors before applying for a loan or credit card for a chance at a better interest rate.

3. It can alert you to credit report issues

Regularly checking your credit score can alert you to possible issues. For example, a lower-than-typical score could indicate reporting errors or fraud, and you may want to review your credit report and look for possible reasons for the low score.

Here’s a quick video on why your credit score matters:

How Often Should You Check Your Credit Score?

There are no hard-and-fast rules relative to checking your credit score. It all depends on your preference. Although some people choose to check their score once a year, others prefer to check it monthly.

Choosing to check your credit score regularly, however, can help you stay on top of any changes that affect your score. You may also want to check it when you are:

● Establishing your credit
● Planning to apply for a credit card
● Preparing to shop for a mortgage
● Concerned about possible fraud
● Seeking a new job

While monthly credit score checks are beneficial, it’s typically not necessary to check your credit daily. Credit scores usually fluctuate slightly, and checking your score obsessively can result in undue anxiety.

Which Score Should You Check?

Each person has hundreds — maybe even more than a thousand — different credit scores. And with all of the credit score options as close as a few clicks of your mouse, how do you choose?

The most important thing is to choose a credit score from a reputable provider, such as VantageScore or FICO. VantageScore is one of the most widely-used scoring models by lenders, and some consider its prediction accuracy superior to other models.

Additionally, people who haven’t ever had a credit card or loan are more likely to have a VantageScore than a FICO score. VantageScore counts alternative data, such as reported rent or utility payments, as part of your score. Plus, it gathers data from the past 24 months, instead of only considering shorter spans of six months like FICO.

Does Checking Your Credit Hurt Your Score?

Although your credit score can drop a few points if a lender checks your credit, your score won’t be impacted if you check it. The difference is between the type of inquiry that’s made and whether it’s a hard or soft pull.

When you apply for a credit card or loan, lenders check your credit to assess your risk as a borrower. Lender credit checks are generally considered hard inquiries.

When you check your own credit with a product like ScoreSense, however, it’s counted as a soft inquiry. Soft inquiries have no effect on your credit scores at all.

Additional Tips

What is a mistake that people make regarding their credit scores?

Some people never check their credit score until they are alerted to an issue. Others don’t realize that they can work to correct errors in their credit report that directly affect their score. Additionally, if you want to provide an explanation in your file as to a specific problem with your credit, you can.

Should you check the same type of credit score each time?

Yes. When pulling your own credit, it’s important to check the same type of credit score so you can accurately track any changes, such as dips or gains.

Your Credit Score Matters

Now that you know why it’s important to check your credit score and how to choose a provider, there’s no time like the present to get started, especially if you’re considering applying for a new credit card or loan.

Once you sign up with a credit monitoring and scores provider, such as ScoreSense, you can check your scores whenever you like without impacting your credit rating. So, what’s stopping you? Get started today!

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