How Often Should You Check Your Credit Score?

a tablet with a credit score portal visible on a desktop computer covered with office suppliesgaragestock / Shutterstock

When you're on a mission to get your credit score up to a few points for you to make a big purchase, it's tempting to check your credit score every day. Unfortunately, you are only going crazy. Here is how the score update works and how often you should take a look.

Credit bureaus do not oblige creditors to release their information no later than one day per month, and many lenders send a series of information to one or more credit reporting agencies once a month, which slows down the treatment. The credit reporting agencies update the information regularly, but it's almost impossible to know the exact day the change will appear on your score.

If you have a free credit score report from your credit card or loan company, this number is probably updated only once a month. Therefore, more frequent checking can be frustrating.

Fast Rescoring

If you need your credit score to be updated quickly (because you are trying to get a loan), you may be able to get a quick re-scoring. A lender (such as a mortgage broker) must ask for fast rescore for you. This service may be paying, but the credit reporting agency can update your score in a few days instead of several weeks.

Where to check your credit score

Many people do not know that their credit score is not part of the credit report. While federal law requires credit reporting agencies to provide you with free access to your credit report at least once a year; they are not required to provide your credit score.

If you want to access your credit score for free, you have a few options, including your credit card company. Some companies offer free access to your credit score. The number is usually updated once a month. You can check if your lender offers it by logging into your online account or by calling its customer service number.

Another option is to use one of the free credit score services such as Karma Credit or Sesame credit. Both services offer e-mail updates if something new appears on your credit score and tips to improve your score. My husband and I signed up for both, and we also have a free credit note with our credit card account. We noticed that there may be a significant difference between Credit Karma or Credit Sesame scores and the number that a lender tells you.

If you are considering applying for a large loan (such as a mortgage or car loan), consider talking to the lender first to find out about the rating system. By talking to your lender in advance, you can ensure that your score is aligned with the system used by the lender.

You can also check your credit score if a lender approves or denies you access to credit based on your credit score information. Lenders are required to inform you of the reason they made the decision. Your credit score will be included in the disclosure letter that they sent to you.

If you prefer to get your number directly from the horse's mouth, you can buy your score from any of the three credit reporting agencies or FICO.

Increasing your credit score may seem like an emergency, it's a bit like baking bread. It takes a little time to get up. So be patient and stay focused on making smart financial decisions in the meantime.

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