Periodically reviewing your credit report and credit score is an important step to better protect and improve your financial health. Follow these tips to develop good credit habits throughout the year that will help you stay on track with your goals and protect your identity.
Good Credit Habit #1: Review your credit report and credit score at least three times per year.
A credit report is a record of your credit history, including any loans or credit cards you have and how you have managed them. Credit reporting agencies use this information to calculate your credit score, which is a three-digit number that represents your creditworthiness. You can obtain a copy of your credit reports from each of the three reporting agencies at www.annualcreditreport.com.
By reviewing your credit report regularly, you can make sure that all the information is accurate and up-to-date. This can help you detect errors or fraud that could be hurting your credit score.
Good Credit Habit #2: Have a plan to maintain and improve your credit score over time.
Managing your credit score is also important because it can affect your ability to get approved for loans or credit cards, and can even impact your ability to rent an apartment or get a job. By making on-time payments, keeping your balances low, and avoiding opening too many new accounts at once, you can improve your credit score over time.
Having a good credit score can also save you money in the long run, as you may qualify for lower interest rates on loans or credit cards. Whether you are trying to improve your ability to obtain credit, build good credit to buy a home, or just get out of debt, set realistic goals, and develop a plan to achieve them. Monitoring your credit report and score will help you stay on track. Some examples of financial goals are:
- Increase your credit score by 50 points within the next six months
- Pay off your credit card debt within the next two years
- Use automated payments methods to make sure you build a history of steady payments over time
Good Credit Habit #3: Activate credit monitoring with alerts so that you can react quickly to potential errors or fraud that may endanger your identity and your financial accounts.
Credit monitoring is a service that allows you to keep track of your credit report and credit score on an ongoing basis. It offers several benefits, including:
- Early detection of fraudulent activity: Credit monitoring can alert you if there are any suspicious activities on your credit report, such as new accounts being opened in your name or unauthorized changes to your personal information. This early detection can help you take action to prevent further damage to your credit and finances.
- Protection against identity theft: Credit monitoring can also help protect you from identity theft, as it can notify you of any changes to your credit report that could indicate fraudulent activity.
- Improved credit management: By monitoring your credit report and score regularly, you can better understand your creditworthiness and take steps to improve it over time. This can include making on-time payments, keeping your balances low, and avoiding opening too many new accounts at once.
- Peace of mind: With credit monitoring, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are keeping a close eye on your credit file, and that you will be notified of any changes or suspicious activities.
Overall, credit monitoring, along with regular review of your credit report and score, can provide you with the power to take control of your financial health and protect yourself and your family against fraud and identity theft.
Remember, with many of our Checking Accounts at FNCU, you have complimentary access to continuous credit monitoring, including alerts, to help you keep track of your credit file – don’t forget to register to activate this service. Following activation, if you receive an alert for activity that doesn’t look familiar, one phone call can put you in touch with a professional Identity Theft Recovery Advocate who can help you dispute fraudulent credit activity and more to keep your credit and your identity YOURS!