Ignorance is bliss, right? Not when it comes to your credit reputation! Many people don’t check their credit score or credit report because they’re afraid it might be bad. In fact, research commissioned by Experian shows that more than 80% of Australians have never accessed their credit report.
Credit providers can use your credit score to determine if you are credit worthy, so it’s important to know how you look in the eyes of a lender. Here we give you five reasons to stop being afraid to check your credit score:
Checking your credit score will not lower it
A common concern is that checking your credit score will somehow lower your score. This is false. When you check your own credit score, a “soft enquiry” is recorded on your credit file and this has absolutely no impact on your score.
It’s not as bad as you think
Having a low credit score isn’t the end of the world. You can always take steps to improve it. Request a copy of your credit report so you can identify areas of improvement. It may be that you have missed a few bills or you have applied for too many loans recently. Knowing what information is in your credit report can help you get back on track. And by the way, the majority of people actually have a healthy credit score.
Many people think they don’t need to check their credit score because they pay their bills on time and have been approved for credit in the past. While you may be doing everything right, others may have made mistakes. A low credit score could be a sign that there are errors on your credit report. For example, there might be a credit enquiry reported that you didn’t make. So it’s important to check your credit score and credit report for errors and have them corrected.
Stop identity thieves
Is your credit score lower than you expected? Are there enquiries on your credit report that you have no knowledge of? It could be that someone has stolen your identity and is applying for credit in your name. Contact the credit provider and credit reporting body right away to report the fraud and have your credit file amended.
You are entitled to access your credit report from each credit reporting body in Australia for free, once a year. In addition to this, you can also access your credit report if your credit application was declined in the last 90 days. But the easiest way to track your credit reputation month in and month out is with a credit score monitoring service like Credit Savvy.
Have you checked your credit score recently? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.