What's the Best Way to Check My Credit Score?

These days, there is a lot of talk about credit rating and credit scores. So, you've probably found yourself wondering "How can I check my score?" Well, there are a number of ways to monitor your rating and the good news is that it does not have to cost a fortune.

Why Do I Need to Check My Credit Score?

Checking your score is important for a number of reasons. First, it allows you to monitor your finances in one place. With loans, credit cards, bills and accounts in a number of places, it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of the big picture unless you're very organized.

Moreover, checking your credit report regularly allows you to ensure that there is no unauthorized use of your name and accounts. In addition, keeping an eye on your credit report, allows you the opportunity to rectify any errors that could lead to a bad credit rating.

Typically, it is a good idea to monitor your rating at least once a year. However, if you find that you do not keep abreast of your bills and statements, it may be wise to request a report more frequently.

What Will a Check of My Credit Score Contain?

There are two options for obtaining a credit report, you can either go to one credit bureau, which is known as a 1 bureau credit service, or you can seek reports from all three credit bureaus (Trans Union, Equifax and Experian), which is Known as a 3 bureau credit check.

A 3 bureau credit service tends to be more robust, simply because it collates information from more than one source. However, all reports will contain similar information, including:

  • Your payment history
  • The amount of money you owe
  • The number of years you have had credit
  • The different types of credit you have
  • A list of the companies that have requested your credit report
  • Recent requests for new credit

How Can I Check My Score?

You have probably noticed that there are numerous websites and companies that offer to provide you with your credit score, but, before paying large sums of money for subscription to these organizations, it is wise to assess your situation and your needs.

For example, if you are simply looking for a one-time check of your credit score, you may be interested to learn that TransUnion, Equifax and Experian must supply you with a free report once a year on your request. However, be careful not to fooled by the option of "extras," as these will come at a cost.

If, however, you are worried, because you do not keep a close eye on your finances, or you would like the assurance of more regular credit reports, it is wise to research a number of credit monitoring companies to find the very best deal.

Most importantly, read all of the terms and conditions before paying for any credit monitoring service to ensure that you know exactly what you are, and are not, getting for your money.

Source by Joan Yankowitz

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