What’s Involved with a Free Credit Check?

What’s Involved with a Free Credit Check?
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Last Updated on October 22, 2020


Knowing a credit score is important. It’s attached to your identity to help determine whether you’re worth the risk of being given credit. By being able to use a free credit check, you can find out what your credit looks like before making any kind of application.

How to Perform a Free Credit Check

Performing a free credit check is easier than you might think. Websites will allow you to sign up for an account. Then, you provide sufficient information about your identity in order to get the check. As your credit score changes, you will receive a notification so that you can find out whether it went up or down.

There are a number of different ways to get a recheck on your credit. However, most of the free options are only available after you have submitted an application. Companies that run your credit are required to give you a copy of the credit reports.

You shouldn’t have to wait until you have made an application somewhere just to know what your credit score is. Especially if you have been dealing with bad credit, it may take a while to get to a point where you feel comfortable making an application. Otherwise, you can face embarrassment with being denied due to poor credit decisions made in the past.

When you sign up for a free credit check, you can find out what your credit score is across all of the major bureaus, including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Why a Credit Check is Important

A significant amount of information is provided on a credit report. You have the opportunity to learn who has been pulling copies of your credit score. You can also see how many credit accounts you have and what the balance is. If you’ve made late payments, those are included in the report, too.

Your credit score is, essentially, how credit companies see you. The higher your score, the more trustworthy you appear. It shows that you’re able to manage the credit that you have without going over your limits. It shows that you can pay your monthly payment obligations and do so on time.

When you have a higher credit score, it often translates to a lower interest rate. It is your reward as various creditors determine that you’re worth the risk to extend a line of credit.

It’s important to get a credit check periodically as a way to look for errors as well as fraudulent accounts. Do you notice an account on there that you never opened? Are there late payments identified when you never made late payments? These things need to be identified so that your credit is being reported accurately. Otherwise, errors can damage your credit score dramatically.


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How Often Credit Scores Change

Realistically, your credit score can change once or twice a month. The three major credit reporting bureaus will provide monthly updates. However, they all report their data at different points. This means that each time a bureau makes an update, your score has the potential to change.

With all of the changes being made throughout the month and each month throughout the year, it can be difficult to keep up with what’s going on. If your credit score is suddenly crashing, you need to know what’s going on. Otherwise, it could be too late to do anything about it by the time you are going to apply for a line of credit where you not only need the approval but also a low-interest rate.

By being able to get a free credit check, you won’t go broke by keeping tabs on your score. You’ll be able to get the monthly update rather than waiting until an annual report that you can pull for free, courtesy of the IRS. After all, a lot can happen within a year. With monthly reports, it’s easier to make the changes necessary to have a score that you can be happy with.

Why Credit Checks Should Be Free

Credit scores should be free so that you have the opportunity to understand what is happening behind the scenes. Every time you apply for credit, make a payment, or even spend on a line of credit, your credit score will be impacted.

You need to make sure that you are able to understand how your credit score can increase or decrease. A good credit score is considered to be anything over 650. If your score isn’t at least that high, there are things that you can do to see improvements, including:

  • Making payments on time
  • Reducing the number of lines of credit you have open
  • Reducing the balance so it isn’t so close to the credit line
  • Reducing the number of applications you fill out that run your credit

The credit bureaus look at how often you’re making new credit inquiries and how you utilize lines of credit. If you continue to open lines of credit, max them out, and open up a new line of credit, your credit score will drop.

By using a free credit check from time to time, you can control your credit score more effectively. It will allow you to work steadily toward boosting the credit score so that you can establish lower interest rates and more trustworthiness from credit companies. Once you know your credit score, you have the power to do something to improve it – or at least maintain it.


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My Life, I Guess is a personal finance and career blog by Amanda Kay, an older millennial from Ontario, Canada that strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making the most of whatever life throws at you.

 

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