Why Should I Be Monitoring My Credit Score? | Refresh Financial

Why Should I Be Monitoring My Credit Score?

 

When was the last time you checked your credit score? If the answer is more than a year, then we strongly recommend that you do today.

There are some many ways your credit score can impact your life. When you make big decisions like getting a mortgage or getting hired at a new job, your credit score can be the difference between you getting a good or bad interest rate or getting hired (that’s right - employers can check your credit score!)

Read: 10 Ways Bad Credit Can Get in the Way of Your Life.

Today we are going to explain why every Canadian should monitor their credit on a regular basis.

Protecting Yourself Against Fraud & Identity Theft

Here’s a scenario. You’ve been laser focused on paying your bills every month and taking all the necessary steps to build your credit score. You’ve been on the right track for years now and you decide it’s time to check your credit score to see how much progress you’ve made - and “oh no!”

Your credit score hasn’t only not improved, but it’s dropped significantly since last you checked. That can’t be correct! Upon further review, you notice a statement on for an unknown credit card on your account with several missed payments.

You find that you are one of the thousands of Canadians that have lost over $10 million dollars from identity fraud each year. What do you do now? If you find this to be your current situation, we’ve written in the past about what to do when there are errors or instances of fraud on your credit report. Read “How to Dispute Errors On Your Credit Report”.

If you’ve recently been the victim of fraud or are you have cause for concern that you might be a target, credit monitoring services can give you comfort and peace of mind. The moment there is a significant change in your credit report, you are notified as soon as possible. Note that this is not a great way to prevent any fraud, but a great way to respond as soon as possible if you are a victim.

Staying On Top of Your Credit Rebuilding Efforts

When you’re attempting to establish or rebuild your credit, monitoring your credit score regularly is a great way to measure how effective your efforts have been. The satisfaction of watching your credit score going from fair, to good, to very good, is truly amazing. You owe it to your future financial self to fix any problems that are negatively affecting your score. Stay on track, stay motivated, and keep building that credit score.

Related article - Is your hard work not paying off? You’re making all of your regular payments but your credit score is at a standstill? Read our blog “Why Is My Credit Score Not Increasing?”

How and Where Can I Monitor My Score for Free?

Historically, it would cost a heavy fee for credit monitoring services. Many Canadians still think they have to pay a fee to check their score, but they could always check their score once a year for free. There are newer services that even let you check your report every month.

Related article - Despite what many Canadians think, checking your own credit doesn’t negatively affect your credit. See some other common misconceptions in our post “7 Credit Myths & Why They’re Wrong”.

Today, sites like Credit Karma get you your free credit report from TransUnion updated monthly. Checking your score on this service takes as little as two minutes. This monthly service is free in exchange for them sending you offers and promotional products like new credit cards or financial services. Sites like Borrowell.com provide a similar service, the main difference being that they provide an Equifax report.

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) also allows you to check your TransUnion credit score for free on their online banking service.\

We are Refresh Financial also provide Canadians with free copies of their credit report. Click here to see your own!

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If your credit score isn't as high as you'd like it to be, consider a credit building program like the one offered by Refresh Financial to boost your credit score!

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