You need to Check Your credit Score

You Need to Check Your Credit Score Regularly. Here’s Why: 

One of the biggest influencers of your financial potential isn’t so much how much you earn, but what a certain little three-digit number says about your financial behavior. That’s right, we’re talking about your credit score. The higher it is, the better your overall financial situation is likely to be. It likely means you’ve managed your debt well and you’ll be rewarded with low interest rates on any future loans you apply for. But if your score is low, it means that you’ve likely got some work to do to get into a better position.

A simple basic credit score definition is that it’s a number that tells lenders how financially reliable of a consumer you are. And because of this, it’s important to check your credit score regularly – just make sure you find the best free credit score service that works for you. Here’s a look at why you should be keeping tabs on your credit score often:

4 Reasons Why You Need to Check Your Credit Score Regularly

1. You Know Exactly Where You Stand

Thinking about applying for a mortgage loan, a personal loan, opening up a new credit card, or refinancing an auto loan? If so, you want to know what interest rates you can expect, which will help you dictate if it makes sense to move forward. Checking your credit score will give you a ballpark number so that you can move forward accordingly. If your FICO score needs some work and you likely won’t be able to qualify for low interest rates, maybe you wait until you can enact some credit repair strategies. But if your score is in good shape, it’ll give you peace of mind moving forward.

2. It’s Easier to Dispute Errors

Nobody is perfect, and this includes the three major credit reporting bureaus. In fact, it’s estimated that about 20 percent of all consumers have an error on their credit report. It’s why it’s good to check your score often, as identifying a reporting error can help you dispute the item and have it removed from your credit history faster. The credit reporting bureaus will generally take about 30 days to investigate the matter and then remove inaccuracies after a dispute is filed.

3. You Can Monitor Improvements

If you set a goal of improving your credit score, you likely won’t have to wait too long to see any credit repair strategies pay off. In fact, if you stick to the plan, you could see significant improvement as quickly as a month. It can be fun – and rewarding – to track your credit score month to month to see your efforts paying off.

4. You Can Catch Odd Activity Faster

Finally, another reason why you want to check your credit score often is because there’s always the chance that you could be the victim of fraudulent activity. It goes without saying that the faster you catch and report any issues, the better your likely long-term outcome.

Top 5 Reasons 0 Balance

Top 5 Reasons to Keep Your Credit Cards at Zero Balance

Keeping your credit card balances at zero isn’t always the easiest thing to do—especially now in the age of COVID. With social distancing and lockdown measures in place, people have been purchasing more online. Indeed, record spending using electronic payments—namely credit cards—has been seen in light of the pandemic.

However, maintaining zero-balance cards can prove to be beneficial to you by helping you to increase your credit score. The following five reasons will show you why zero balances are crucial to your credit.

  1. Paying Off Your Debt While Building Credit History

Keeping your credit card balances at zero is a good idea—but maintaining that zero balance forever isn’t the best way to go about improving your credit, either. That sounds confusing, so to simplify, it works like this: If you don’t use your credit cards, credit card companies can notice that you aren’t doing anything with your cards and stop sending account updates to the credit bureaus. Potential creditors and lenders will be more wary of you, even if you’re a responsible borrower, because they cannot easily acquire information on your recent credit history.

The best way to remedy this? Make small purchases every now and then, and quickly pay them off in order to keep your account active and your credit history constantly updated. This way, you keep your cards at a zero balance most of the time while also establishing credit history.

  1. Credit Utilization Ratio

Your credit utilization ratio is one of the major factors that lenders look at when determining your eligibility for loans or additional credit cards. Keeping your credit cards at a zero balance keeps your credit utilization ratio at zero, which improves your credit score.

What’s more, zero balances prevent wild fluctuations in your credit utilization. For example, if one of your credit cards has a credit limit of $4,000, but is at zero balance, and another card is using $2,000 of the allotted limit of $6000, you’re at a 20% credit utilization ratio. If for some reason you should close that zero balance card? Then you’ll have $6,000 remaining in total credit limits, $2,000 of which is tied up in debt, which shoots you up from a 20% ratio to 33% credit utilization.

  1. Emergency Funds

Emergency funds are all the more important with the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, we are seeing record-high numbers of unemployment claims, which means that there are far fewer job openings than workers. If you are fired or lose your job, the zero-balance card can act as an additional safety net for you.

  1. Remaining Debt-Free Opens Doors

Keeping yourself debtless is a great way to position yourself well when being considered for things like cars, work and housing—and in some cases, it helps you outcompete the competition. Many people struggle with paying off their debts or keeping a clean credit history. Therefore, displaying the ability to keep a zero-balance card can push you up in places where credit is considered. Being debtless also improves your physical and mental stress. It’s better to live life without the burden of unpaid bills.

  1. Interest Rate Expiration

Some cards carry lowered interest rates for a certain amount of time as a promotional tactic. One thing to watch out for is the grace period when it expires, which can lead to devastating consequences if you aren’t aware of the expiry date. But keeping a zero-balance card can leads to less worrying about when promotional periods will expire—and hit you with large deferred interest fees.

It is challenging to keep those balances at zero. However, the five reasons above make it worthwhile. Pay down debts if you have them to improve your credit-worthiness!