Credit Score is one of the most important factors of your financial credibility and often people are confused about various things related to it. ‘How to check score?’ ‘When to Check Score?’ ‘How many times should you check it in a year?’ are some of the most commonly asked questions. It is important to know your answers, know the truths and myths behind them.
Firstly, answering the most frequently asked question, ‘How often should I check my credit score?’ The answer is you can check it however often you wish to. It is a common myth that checking your own credit score frequently has a negative impact on your score. There is some negative impact on your credit score if you apply for new loan or card very often or with many banks at the same time, as the banks would make as many ‘credit inquiries’ with the credit bureau. With high number or frequent ‘credit inquiries’, the credit bureau believes that you are desperate to get a fresh loan, therefore, considers that behavior negative.
Having said this, it is not necessary to check your credit score all the time or every day. Let’s guide you through the ‘how’ and ‘when’ to help you determine the right time to check your credit score.
Who should check credit score?
A credit report is generated only when you own a credit card or have a loan taken in your name. Credit scores are calculated from the credit report. Therefore, whoever meets the above criteria is likely to have a credit score. All such people should certainly and regularly check their credit report and credit score.
What If You Never Had a Credit Card or Loan Before? When you have not borrowed in the past or have never had a Credit Card or a loan, there will be no updates about you with the credit bureau, who mark such cases as NH or ‘No History’. Due to a lack of details, the credit bureau will be unable to comment on your payment behavior. In such cases, we advise to start building your credit score and checking it once a year. For more details , you could visit our blog What do banks see when they look at your credit report?
When should you check your credit score?
When to check credit score completely depends on your comfort level and your credit activity. Checking your credit score once every quarter is perfect but people often check it twice a year or even monthly at times. The credit score should be checked and the credit report reviewed at least once in a year that’s a minimum!
It is important to remember that checking your credit score on your own does not impact the credit score at all, even if done very often. In fact, keeping a track of your credit score frequently makes sure that you are aware of your creditworthiness, you are taking informed decisions about your credit, and you have a clear picture about when and how to maintain your credit score. A quick reminder, avoid focusing too much on the day-to-day changes and try to identify the overall trend in your credit score. Below are some reasons why you might want to check your credit score or credit report:
- Before applying for a new credit card or loan such as housing loan, auto loan to avoid any surprises
- While building or improving your credit history to keep a track of your credit scores
- After settling off or closing a loan to know if the updates were made
When Not to Check Credit Score?
There is no such time when to avoid the credit score. The importance of credit score has been talked about in every other financial article. It has to be a part of your yearly routine at least to stay updated and informed.
Even when you have good credit score, it is important to keep an eye on any drops in score or inaccurate information on your credit report and to ensure that it is maintained above acceptable thresholds. If it is on the lower end, make sure you change your habits and take conscious steps to bring it up. Also, minor changes on your credit report or credit score should not be a cause of concern as these are expected to happen. So checking credit score daily can be avoided.
How to check your Credit Score?
There are various online websites which give you credit score, but the source of such credit scores would be one of the four RBI regulated credit bureaus such as CRIF. When it comes to finances, you ought to trust the expert and give importance to data security.
One of the trusted way to do so is check it from CRIF, a RBI regulated credit bureau. You are entitled to check a credit score and credit report FREE once in a calendar year from CRIF. Checking your credit score is easy three step process – fill your personal details, confirm your identity and download the report.
There is no right time or right day to start keeping a track on your financial credibility. Informed or Unaware, choose wisely.