12 Tips To Keep An Eye On Your Credit

Bankrate has 12 strategies to keep your credit in tip-top shape:

  • Catch mistakes before they make it to your report;

  • Stagger your free reports for year-round monitoring;
  • Double or triple up on free report if you live in Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont;
  • Get your credit report free when you’ve been denied;
  • Follow up for a free report after fixing mistakes;
  • Check it during your job hunt;
  • Try a scoring estimator;
  • Check your score when already paying for another service;
  • Save by doubling up when you want both your credit report and your credit score;
  • Get free advice from credit counselors.

For more ways to keep your credit strong and healthy throughout the year, check out our credit report and score savvy roundup. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

12 free credit monitoring strategies [Bankrate]
(Photo: Marcus Vegas)

Comments

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  1. Peekaso says:

    And as always PAY YOUR F***ING bills. :)

  2. Rusted says:

    Or just pay as you go and forget that plastic nonsense.

  3. spanky says:

    And all the responsible consumer habits in the world won’t prevent ridiculous bullshit from showing up on your credit report.

    You still have to check it.

  4. Hawk07 says:

    What’s the reasoning behind only being able to get your credit score once a year for free?

  5. Tallanvor says:

    @Hawk07: Probably because charging you for a copy of your report is a huge money maker for the companies that compile them. And even though it’s our lives that can be screwed over by incorrect information, those companies don’t really care. They’re more interested in making money.

  6. CDANIEL says:

    What does it mean by “Double or triple up on free report if you live in Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont?”

  7. spanky says:

    @CDANIEL: Those are states that have state laws requiring credit reporting agencies to offer free copies of your report, in addition to the federal requirement.

    I didn’t realize they could be doubled up, though. SWEET.

    Anyway, I cannot stand the credit reporting agencies. They’re virtually unaccountable for what amounts, in many cases, to libel. So I’m all for making them pony up your credit report as often as you possibly can, if for no other reason than to be a pain in the ass.

    You can also request a free report any time you’re denied credit, employment, insurance, etc., based on information in your report, or if you’re unemployed or on public assistance. And at least in some states, credit reporting agencies have to provide you with a free report whenever any potentially negative information is added to your report.

    Do it every time.

  8. digitalgimpus says:

    I’m not so sure you can still double up… looking at NJ’s page for credit reports, they tell you to use the anualcreditreport.com (which is federal and 1x per year):
    [www.state.nj.us]

    [www.equifax.com] seems to infer that being in one of those states only gives you the additional ability of getting your report by mail. Not an extra.

    All indicators online say this is an urban legend. I’d love to see if someone can find evidence otherwise.

  9. digitalgimpus says:

    Should also note annualcreditreport.com seems to forward to forms that insist upon 1x a year.

    Also note misspelling above (one ‘n’ in annual). Don’t fall for misspelled domains. You never know what lurks.

  10. Dustbunny says:

    Kitteh disapproves of your reckless spending.

  11. LAGirl says:

    im in ur wallet, usin’ ur plastic

  12. Crazytree says:

    STAY AWAY FROM “CREDIT COUNSELORS”.

  13. Namilia says:

    to get in ur fridge, eatin ur f00dz

  14. Namilia says:

    asfadsf, that was @LAGirl

  15. bnissan97 says:

    It is MY FICO score!! Why should I have to pay to find out what it is? That should come free with the report. It should also NOT be a secret what is good and what is bad for the FICO score.

    It’s a republican conspiracy.

  16. mac-phisto says:

    don’t even waste your time with the score. many lenders don’t even use the straight score. depending on the “type” of credit you’re seeking, don’t be surprised if the score pulled by the lender differs greatly from the one on your report. car lenders, home lenders, credit card companies – even your utility companies – often pay for skewed scores that adjust the importance of different credit types.