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Topics addressed on January 5, 2011:
How often to purchase your credit scores
How often should you check your credit score?
How often you purchase a credit score depends on your credit position.
Purchasing a score will help you better understand where your credit history falls in the range of risk and why. A credit report doesn’t’ rate your history in any way, so it is important to understand how lenders might evaluate your risk.
A score report provided with the score will describe what from your credit report most affected the number. By focusing on those elements, called risk factors, you can improve all of your credit scores over time.
Therefore, a credit score report can be your most valuable credit education tool and is well worth the investment.
While it is not necessary to purchase additional scores after the initial investment, how often you check it should depend on your interest in tracking your scores or preparing to apply for new credit.
Many people like to request a credit score once a year to check their progress if they are working on improving their risk or just to confirm where they stand for reassurance that they are managing their credit well.
A good time to do so is when you request your free annual credit report at http://www.annualcreditreport.com. After receiving your Experian report you will be offered an opportunity to purchase your VantageScore.
You definitely should check your credit report and score several months in advance of making a major credit purchase, such as a home or a car. That will guide you with regard to what you need to focus on to ensure you will have no difficulty qualifying for the loan.
Many consumers who are working to improve their scores so they can qualify for the best rates will invest in a credit monitoring service, such as the one offered at Experian’s FreeCreditScore.com. This gives them unlimited access to their Experian credit report and their credit score.
You decide what is right for you, but please do stay engaged in managing your credit risk.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team