Why should you monitor your credit?
Well, because bad credit can cost you thousands.
Think about it—the higher your credit score, the lower interest rate you’ll have on loans (home, auto, etc.), and you’ll end up saving thousands of dollars. However, the time to monitor your credit score is now, not a month before applying for a loan to buy your dream home.
So where does one start monitoring their credit? Great question.
Go to Identity Guard and request a free credit report. And don’t worry, it really is free (at least from this website). Some people don’t know it, but everyone’s entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, EquiFax, and Experian) once every twelve months.
Once you receive your free credit report (see previous point), check for any inaccuracies or errors. You might find incorrect information about yourself (addresses, phone numbers, etc.) or an account you don’t recognize. If you do find an inaccuracy or error, you can check for instructions in the report on how to inform the credit bureau.
If you haven’t started already, now is the time to take measures against would-be identity thieves who can sabotage your credit score and finances. For example, if you use the same password for everything you do online—”Password123” is not acceptable—you’ll want to up your password game by creating unique logins for every site you frequent, using anti-virus software, and being cautious about what you share online.
If you’re not the type to review your credit card accounts on a regular basis, you’ll want to change your ways in order to properly monitor your credit. You can set yourself a weekly reminder to review your charges and balances, and if you do find anything suspicious, report it immediately.
Monitoring credit is definitely not fun, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be rewarding. If you’re having difficulty keeping up with all of your responsibilities and watching your credit, find a way to reward yourself for doing well (treat yo self!).