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Q: How often should I be checking my credit score?
A: It’s really only necessary to check your credit score only once or twice a year, unless you have been a victim of identity theft or otherwise have reason to suspect that your financial and personal information security has been compromised.
Checking it more frequently doesn’t really do any good, simply because it takes time for new information to appear on all three credit reports.
The best thing to do is to pick out a certain time of the year. For example, you can choose to check after the first of the year or at the beginning of summer, when approximately six months has passed.
On those dates, order a copy of your credit report from all three companies—Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Then, carefully study them for any discrepancies or errors.
They are actually very simple to read. The instructions for how to do so come with them. But if you want more information on understanding your credit report, check out this article.
Immediately report anything that is not right to the company that submitted the information, in writing. Keep copies of every bit of correspondence you send and receive until the dispute has been resolved.
If you have been a victim of identity theft, notify all three companies of the incident, sending supporting documentation. Ask them to “flag” your account. Then, check it about once every three months until you feel sure that no illicit use has occurred.
When Else Should I Check My Credit?
You may also want to consider checking your credit score prior to applying for any new lines of credit like a mortgage, auto loan, or new credit card.
This way you will know in advance if there is any issue that you need to address before submitting your application. It is best to deal with these issues upfront, if you want to avoid being rejected.