You may not think about your FICO score everyday, but there are reasons to check your credit. Your three-digit credit score has a tremendous impact on your financial future. It can determine whether a lender gives you the time of day, and it can impact your interest rate on loans. Many financial experts recommend checking our credit at least once a year. But if for some reason you downplay the importance, here are seven excellent reasons to check your credit today.
1. A Statement Didn't Arrive in the Mail
Reasons to check your credit include missing statements. If you always receive a bank or credit card statement in the mail, be wary if this information doesn't arrive. Your mailman could have delivered the envelope to a different address, and if your personal information ends up in the wrong hands, there's a greater risk for identity theft. Keeping an eye on your credit can stop problems before they start.
2. You’re Applying for a Job
Some employers run credit checks on potential applicants. Before applying for a new job, check your own report and score to determine whether you need to make improvements. Credit checks are common in the finance industry and with government jobs.
3. You Think Your Credit Has Been Compromised
If your Social Security card or credit card goes missing, these are good reasons to check your credit. It only takes someone a short amount of time to apply for accounts in your name and destroy your credit history. Unfortunately, it isn't enough to cancel a lost or stolen credit card. Order your credit report from each of the bureaus to make sure that unfamiliar accounts do not appear on your file.
4. You’re Thinking about Moving
Are you looking for a new apartment, or are you thinking about buying a home? Regardless of where you plan to move, checking your credit before applying can ensure a smooth process. Many lenders require a minimum credit score of 680 for conventional financing, and some landlords have started checking credit reports and charging higher security deposits when a tenant has poor credit. But if you improve your credit beforehand, you can avoid setbacks.
5. You Cosigned a Loan
Cosigning a loan is extremely dangerous, and it's important that you keep a close eye on your credit report after cosigning for a friend, sibling, child or other relative. This way, you can learn whether this person pays the monthly bill on time, and how much he currently owes. And if you detect problems, you can step in before the person's actions completely ruin your FICO score.
6. You Don't Get Pre-approval Offers in the Mail
If you always receive pre-approval credit card offers in the mail, this is a pretty good indicator that your credit is in good shape. Most banks only send these offers to people with scores in the 700 or 800 range. For that matter, if you never receive a pre-approval offer, it's time to check your credit. There might be problems that you’re unaware of, which could prevent financing.
7. It’s Been a While
Can't remember the last time you checked your credit? If so, it's probably been too long. Each person should review their credit report at least every 12 months. You're entitled to a free credit report from each of the credit bureaus. Visit Annual Credit Report today to request your free copies.
There's no denying the importance of a good credit history. Equally important is carefully monitoring your records to ensure that information is accurate and up to date. What are other reasons to check your credit regularly?