Probably just under half of the folks don’t know their credit score.
If you read this blog (and ever plan to sign up for a credit card), I think it would be wise to go ahead and sign up for a free service that will allow you to track your credit score.
It’s not that I think you need to be obsessed with your score, but you deserve to know how multiple credit card applications impact your score. The real truth, not just the lies that float around.
Your Credit Score Matters
If you’re planning on making a large purchase (like a house) in the next few years, then you might want to sideline yourself from applying for new accounts. Being able to get the lowest possible interest rate is more valuable than a handful of miles. But, how often do we buy houses?
Also, if you’re new to the site and you’re thinking about signing up for cards, I’d say that in general you should have a score over 700. If you don’t, you probably want to be sure your credit score is better, or you might be facing a lot of rejection letters when you apply.
How to Track Your Credit Score for Free
I just signed into the two accounts that I use to track my score for free:
Both give you a score that reflects your FICO score, but it is not your actual FICO score. In order to get your actual score, you need to pay to check it at myfico.com. I do have a paid MYFICO account, but that is mostly just to be able to show you guys how my exact score is impacted by my applications. If it was not for that reason, then I’d skip MYFICO entirely.
The only annoying thing about Credit Karma and Credit Sesame is the they try to get you to sign up for credit cards that obviously aren’t the most amazing deals. For example, Credit Sesame is telling me that they can save me $122 a year if I sign up for a Discover card. I’d barely sneeze for $122, let alone use up an application for that.
Instead of charging you, they use advertising to cover their costs.
Anyway, I just check my score and then sign out. I don’t obsess over my score, but I do like to have a sense of what is happening with it. It takes all of five minutes to sign up for a free account and check your score. Once a month you can just sign in and update your score within minutes.
Here’s my theory: if it takes zero dollars and just a few minutes, I don’t think there is any reason why you shouldn’t sign up for one or both of these services.