Ten years ago when I first met my husband, checking your credit score / credit report was a once a year thing. Once a year and “don’t do it again, or it will lower your credit score!” type of thing.
Unfortunately, a lot of people still believe that you can only check in once a year. I am here to tell you that you should be checking your credit score / report on an ongoing basis. I treat my credit report the same as my bank account.
Thanks to technology, keeping an eye on your credit report is so dang easy – it does not affect your credit score (if done right) – and it is part of being an adult who takes control of their finances! And that adult, is you, right!?
Before jumping into checking your credit report – let me tell you WHAT DOES affect your credit score. So monitoring your credit report via Credit Sesame (My favorite and NOT SPONSORED) will not make your credit score go down. However certain things WILL lower your score – and for varying lengths.
- Having a company run your report through multiple agencies to get a new loan (Think… *buying a new car*)
- Opening a new line of credit (Credit card, buying a car) can sometimes lower your score.
- Late payments on your bills
- Open collection accounts on your credit report
Today, however, we are just going to talk about how and why I (And how you should) be keeping an eye on your credit report.
I use an app on my phone that is through Credit Sesame. I love the app. It is beyond easy to navigate and gives me detailed information. I have it set up that a pin number is required to enter the app, just for privacy purposes.
*Note – I am not foolish with our privacy but also am not someone who worries greatly about it as well. When the people in charge of keeping our credit details private (Experian), but end up failing miserably it makes me realize that anything can happen in this age of technology – and just to stay on top of our information to make sure it is not stolen, and if it is was that it gets it fixed before it goes too far, and causes too much damage.
So back to Credit Sesame. For this past year, I have been using their app. I check it about once a week, just to see if there are any changes. However, because it is so great – if there is a change to my credit report, like a new inquiry it sends me a notification that there is an alert. I am informed immediately if someone has run my social security number.
Two months ago I had it run for a new loan, and within 5 minutes my phone chimed to let me know who ran it! If you were checking your credit report just once a year, it could have taken me 10 months before finding out! And, if it was a thief I could be in a world of trouble trying to untangle their deceit in my name.
Credit Sesame The App: things to know…
- It’ free
- Checking your score using this app DOES NOT affect your credit score
- It gives up to the moment information
- It provides you tailored suggestions on how to improve your credit score, based on your grades
- and a whole lot more…
One full year in, and I love it!
I am so happy I started using this app back in early 2017. When I pulled it up on my phone I was looking at my Credit Score Breakdown – and everything seemed exactly what it should be except for my payment history. It was Red, and it was giving me a big fat “F” for a grade.
I clicked on that breakdown and saw that one bill that was paid in full and closed back in 2009 (It was a credit card that I used when I was in college to pay for my textbooks) had been marking my account as past due FOR YEARS AFTER the card was paid and closed.
I was able to get this cleared up rather quickly (annoying still, but easy) the inaccurate late payments were removed, and my credit score was changed to reflect that. *I received a notification when the score changed*
Had I not been using this app, when we went to get our new loan we 1) may not have been approved or 2) our interest rate would have been much higher
So how do you get started? Just click the button below and be taken directly to the page to signup. I signed up with my computer and then downloaded the app on my phone. It was easier to get started for me on my computer or tablet. It took me about 5 minutes, and has been well worth it!
Just another way to keep your financial house in order! Also, if you haven’t already be sure to grab the 2018 Financial Planner to rock your finances this year!
P.S – Check back soon when I walk you through how to fix errors on your credit report! It is not as hard as you think!