One study showed that nearly 40 percent of US adults don’t know their current credit score, according to Statistic Brain. This is one of the main reasons why there are so many different promotions and specials being offered by different companies and websites for consumers to remove themselves from that group and finally figure out where they stand. However, before you hop on the very next opportunity to receive a free credit score, there are several important points you should consider first.
Is It Really Free in the First Place?
Even though you may be enticed and attracted by the idea of getting a credit score free, you may have to eventually find out the hard way that it was not free after all. Keep in mind that the vast majority of offers and promotions made available online and through other companies come with strings attached. For example, you might be able to obtain your score without paying anything, the strings might be attached to a monthly subscription fee to credit monitoring services. This is one of the main reasons why so many websites that offer these scores require consumers to provide their credit card information before the score is released to them.
How Many Times Has Your Score Been Obtained?
Another important point to consider is how many times your credit score has been checked by other companies. Even though it is highly recommended for you to have this information handy and verified on a regular basis, excessively checking the score and your overall report can actually be more damaging than helpful. This is because your score can be reduced simply by inquiring about your credit overall.
The general rule of thumb, according to My FICO, is to embrace a soft inquiry but to avoid a hard inquiry. Pulling your own credit report or taking the steps to obtain your credit score free is considered a soft inquiry that will not cause any damage. However, when you request or authorize other companies and potential lenders to pull your credit, this is considered a hard inquiry, which can be damaging.
Are You Still Using Old Credit Cards?
Over time, you may apply for multiple credit cards and decide to no longer use the ones you may have been approved for in the past. Doing so would be a horrible mistake on your behalf that should be immediately reconsidered. Keep in mind that a major factor of your credit report and score is the actual history that you have been able to acquire over time. Therefore, using a credit card that you may have received five years ago can actually be much more beneficial for your overall credit standing than using a brand new credit card you received last month.
Have You Looked at Your Credit Report?
Do not become too attached to the actual score itself. When you make the decision to obtain a credit score free, it is highly recommended that you also pull your full credit report as well. Always remember that your scores are mere reflections and calculations based on the content of your report. Check it thoroughly for errors and discrepancies that need to be addressed, updated or even eliminated from the report all together. Therefore, you will have a full understanding about your actual score as well as the positive and negative reports accumulating within your credit history that led to your score.
Even though having your credit score and report obtained regularly provide a host of benefits and advantages for the average consumer, it is imperative for you to also cover these key points first and foremost before doing so.