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Check, Monitor, & Maintain Your Credit Score

Jul 23, 2008
As a consumer, achieving and maintaining a good credit score is one of the most important actions that you can take. Getting a good credit score is difficult enough, but maintaining it can be even more difficult for many people. Part of this process is being able to monitor your credit score. If you can't tell from month to month if your credit score is going up or down, then how are you going to know if you need to work on maintaining your score or if everything is hunky-dory?

Even if you don't have a good credit score, and you've been denied credit, that's all the more reason to check your credit score, monitor what's going on, and figure out the best course of action in order to fix it. Many people have incorrect or outdated information on their credit report that could be easily fixed. Remember that nearly a quarter to one third of credit reports of errors of some kind on them, and these are often very easily fixed once you know about them. This is where the monitoring comes in.

Remember, even if you've had a bad credit history, bankruptcy is supposed to be removed from your record after ten years, and late or delinquent payments are also supposed to be removed after seven years. This means that even if you've had a bad past, after a certain time these should be removed. Often times credit reporters don't remove these blemishes, which is why you need to monitor your credit reports to make sure that you're not being penalized for past mistakes that should have been forgiven by now.

As a consumer you are entitled by law to one copy of your credit report for free every year, as well as a free report upon request after being denied a loan or line of credit. It doesn't take much time at all to study the report and see if it's accurate, or if there are errors that need to be addressed.

If there are no blatant red flags, like signs of identity theft, most experts recommend checking your credit score at least every quarter, if not monthly, to maintain your good credit score. Keeping a high score isn't too hard. You want to keep all credit cards under the 50% mark, and not use most of your available credit. These two actions alone will sky rocket your credit score. In addition, if you make all your payments on time and even pay a little bit extra, then you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

As long as you spend and use credit responsibly, the numbers will tend to take care of themselves. Keeping yourself from bad spending habits is the best thing you can do to maintain your score.

If you do find anything suspicious on your credit reports, contact the credit bureaus, the companies involved, and the police immediately. The sooner you catch identity theft and get the authorities helping you out, the quicker and easier it will be to repair the damage that was done and take the appropriate steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Follow these tips, and you will find that checking, monitoring, and improving/maintaining your credit score can be far easier than you imagined.
About the Author
Thomas Boston, Principal of 825credit.com is a personal finance expert and consumer credit advocate who specializes in responsible credit management and creation. He helps clients for free to reverse damage done by identity thieves plus late payments, chargeoffs and collection accounts. He can be reached online with comments,
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