Would you not like to have an insurance policy on your credit rating? Well in effect that is what happens when you monitor your credit on a regular schedule. You are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. This includes Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. It is almost like having a credit report insurance policy.
By monitoring and correcting any dings which appear on your credit report you increase your rating score which in turn allows you to take advantage of lower interest rates and could save you thousands of dollars when you apply for a loan.
One important hint is to try to boast your credit score prior to applying for a loan.
Bad credit can often result in very unfavorable interest rates which could eventually cost you thousands of dollars such as when you apply for a home mortgage, a car loan or even student loans. It could prevent you from leasing the apartment you’ve been watching. The worse situation would be the black mark it leaves on your record which could prevent you from obtaining that dream job position you have wanted for years.
Let us not forget that credit theft is everywhere and usually by the time it is noticed it is too late. By monitoring your credit you can catch this costly and time consuming issue in the bud. It is wise and to your advantage to monitor your credit report annually at least.
Looking back, knowing what you know now about credit, what decisions would you have reconsidered or made differently, if any?
Since my credit report is directly linked to my borrowing power I would place myself in a position where I could continually monitor my progress. I could readily see any new accounts that have been placed on my report, those which are currently closed, unpaid bills which would need to be taken care of and any which are being paid late.
Since my yearly credit reports are free I would order one every four months and scrutinize it very carefully. If I was starting out again or were asked by a young family how they should start I would suggest the following:
Limit your credit card transactions, set up automatic payments for your monthly bills that way they are always on time, space out the times that you apply for loans or credit and avoid maxing out any of your credit cards. If you keep this up for a number of years and do not go out on a credit binge you will be on the road to good credit.