When you have credit, every last credit or loan payment you make or miss will be put into your overall credit history. This history is an accumulation of what you have done, financially speaking, in the past. If a person were to miss a payment or make a payment to a creditor, this would be listed on a credit report. Furthermore, a score is calculated to inform lenders of your credibility to pay them back. This is a way to judge your financial history.
A credit score tracker, however, is much more than a way to determine what your current score is. Instead, these trackers can be used as a form of monitoring. Let’s take a look on why you must seriously track your credit history.
Why You Must Track Your Credit Score
Since your credit score will follow you until death, you have to ensure that it is always accurate. When your score has fallen because of missed payments or too much debt, you may find that it is difficult to raise your rating. Thankfully, all you need to do is start tackling your debt and return to a good credit standing.
While this sounds easy, it will take a few years for a person’s credit mishaps to finally be behind them. However, there is a major problem that can arise – identity theft. If someone steals your identity, they will want some form of financial gain. This is normally seen with the issuance of credit cards or loans.
Tracking your credit score allows you to safeguard your financial past and future from the likes of fraudulent purchases. The faster you know when an error has been made or a theft is occurring, the faster you can remedy the problem. If you are like most people that do not track their credit score, you may find that months or years have passed before finding the problem. This may make it nearly impossible to correct the damage that has taken place.
A credit score tracker would be your first line of defense at a time when theft is at an all-time high.
Programs that make Tracking Easy
The average person has far too many responsibilities to worry about diligently check their credit report on a monthly basis. While unfortunate, it is simply one burden that people do not want to think about. This is where credit monitoring will be necessary.
Credit monitoring is offered by a plethora of different companies all with the same goal – to alert you of credit changes. This monitoring has gotten so advanced that these companies not only alert you when your score changes, but also when suspicious charges have taken place. If you have been approved for a new loan or have added an immense amount of debt to your credit, an alert will be dispatched.
There are many companies that offer this including:
Credit Karma: A completely free solution, credit karma tracks your credit score at all times. This allows you to receive free credit monitoring notifications as well as a dashboard featuring real-time transaction, balances and fees. Your credit score is updated monthly and with Credit Karma being free, you literally have nothing to lose.
Mint.com: Mint.com is more than just for easy finances. Mint also allows users to track their credit score and they also offer monitoring, alerts and identity threat scores. There is a free trial offered, but there is a premium when the trial expires.
Experian and TransUnion: These two credit bureaus also offer services for monitoring your credit score. While the initial credit check is free, monitoring or subsequent requests are not. These two bureaus have the best tracking of any competition as they know when your score is updated in real-time. However, this comes at a premium.
Identity Guard: More of a company for identity theft, Identity Guard offers protection against any unwanted use of your identity. Not only are quarterly updates available for your credit score, but so is routine monitoring of address changes. There is a large theft insurance coverage as well as help with the restoration of your identity and credit score if theft occurs.
A credit score tracker and various monitoring tools will ensure that your credit history is never at jeopardy from unauthorized charges. With a little diligence, you will be able to safeguard yourself in the event that your identity is stolen or an error has occurred on your report.