Some calorie-counters jump on a scale every day, while many of us don't bother to weigh ourselves until our jeans get tight. Some Americans only get their blood pressure measured at annual check-ups, while others track their blood pressure daily with their own sphygmomanometer (and can even pronounce it!). Truth be told, many of us don't need to know our current weight or systolic pressure. But there is one number you should know: your credit score.
Your credit score is a three-digit number that predicts how likely you are to pay back a loan on time. The higher your score, the lower your interest payments will be on a mortgage, credit card, auto loan or personal loan. You want that credit card with the fat sign-up bonus, travel perks, and low Annual Percentage Rate (APR)? How about the balance transfer card that will let you go 18 months without paying interest? You'll need a solid credit score to get your hands on that plastic. People with high credit scores also enjoy higher credit limits on their cards.
But your credit score has an effect on many aspects of your life, even when you're not borrowing money:
- Landlords may consider your credit when evaluating your request to rent a home;
- At a higher score, you may qualify for lower rates or a smaller security deposit with your utility company.
Your auto or homeowner insurance rates could increase due to poor creditworthiness;
If you want a cell phone, the company will want to know that you're likely to pay for the new service;
Your credit score "can be a measure of reliability because it's one of the only ways that we really have to distill a person's reliability down to a single number. Have they paid whatever they borrowed back on time and in full?" explains Millennial Money Expert Stefanie O'Connell. "It can matter today when you are trying to do something like rent an apartment. You will often have a credit check to see if you are reliable." O'Connell, author of The Broke and Beautiful Life, concludes, "And therefore, it's critical that we all build it and keep it in good shape."
But to build your credit score, you have to know what it is. Financial Educator and Author Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche says, "MoneyTips has Credit Manager, a credit monitoring tool that sends notifications directly to your phone as your credit fluctuates. There's really no excuse for not knowing your credit score. And really, you can use this tool to see how you can push your credit score higher."
Your score is based on your entire credit history, called your credit report, which tracks your prior borrowing behavior. Some employers will pull a version of your credit report if you're under consideration for a position. If there are major issues, like lots of accounts in collections and/or late payments, it could cost you that sweet gig… even if it turns out that it's not your fault.
You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips. Don't worry; you won't even have to enter a credit card. What you should worry about is:
- What if someone made a mistake on your credit report that prevents you from getting a low-interest credit card or new apartment?
- What if someone has stolen your identity, ruining your credit?
Mistakes on credit reports and identity theft attempts are way-too-common, and will cause your credit score to drop if you don't take action. Don't wait until you're applying for a new job or credit card to get the news; check them now, so you have time to fix any issues. And Credit Manager will help you fix credit issues.
Like your weight, your credit will fluctuate. You need to check your credit score and credit report regularly to make sure your score is increasing and no bad items are being recorded due to your letting payments slide, an identity thief, or some data clerk who makes a typo on your account. Why should you pay for someone else's mistake?
Know the score! Visit Credit Manager today to check your credit score and credit report for free without a credit card. Otherwise, you could be in for a nasty surprise, causing your blood pressure to skyrocket!