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How Often Should You Track Your Credit Score?

Personal Insights

That car that’s been stalling in the garage is about to finally be paid off and the feeling is immensely exciting. Not only is that a big chunk of debt off your record that’s been paid off successfully, it also means that you’ll probably get a bump in your credit.

You might even be considered a tad more reliable because of it. Whatever the reason, a credit score comes in handy as adulthood continues to hit us.

There are big things in life that you really need your credit score for. Either way, you’re going to want to keep track of it while making life-changing purchases, though not obsessively. The thing is, if you keep paying your bills then you’ll always have some sort of credit there.

But how often am I really going to need this score though?

The thing is, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends that you check your credit score once a year. However if you’re trying to skim off debt fast, you might want more access to it than just once a year.

When you’re making big purchases that impact your day-to-day life such as your car or home, your credit score could always come into question. Even a new job might check your credit before hiring you. Sometimes it’s just standard practice now.

Why Do We Need Credit For Our Daily Lives?

Credit comes in handy when you least expect it. That’s why you should never let any debt go, no matter how small. If you’re about to make any of these kinds of purchases that impact it, your credit is going to be around to get checked whether you asked for it or not.

And if you check for identity theft, expect your score to constantly be monitored. Thanks to sites like Credit Karma, it’s really easy to keep track. However, even banks will track your score for free now, something that Chase Bank has been doing for quite some time.

Without credit, we lack digital identity. It’s something that we’ve been stuck with as Americans. However, there’s a difference between checking your credit report and your credit scores–either way, check both.

How To Check Your Reports

Your bank won’t give you access to a full report. That’s something that somewhere like Credit Karma or AnnualCreditReport.com (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian) can fulfill. When you use Credit Karma (which offers TransUnion and Equifax), there’s no limits and it’s a soft inquiry, so it’s not costing anything on your record.

The Difference Between a Report and a Score

Your score is just the basic number you’ll need to know to report to people. A report is what’s way more extensive than that. You can see your credit activity and find ways to help increase it over time. It’s important to note that checking your credit reports yourself does not hurt your own credit scores.

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