If you are in the market for a new home or a car loan, chances are you have already checked your credit report and credit score. You know how important good credit is to getting the lowest rate on those loans, but do you realize how important a good credit score is to other aspects of your life?
The truth is it is important to keep regular tabs on your credit history and credit score, even if you are not in the market for a new home or car. There are a number of reasons why checking your credit report should be a regular part of your financial life.
Good Credit Can Lower Your Car Insurance Rates
You may think that your car insurance rate is only influenced by your driving records and how many claims you have filed, but that is not necessarily the case. Many car insurance companies also look at the credit profile of drivers before setting their premium rates.
If you are shopping for a new car insurance policy, it is a good idea to pull your credit report first. A mistake on your credit report could results in higher premiums and wasted money.
You Can Recognize Identity Theft Before it Can Hurt You
Identity theft is a growing problem, and the results can be quite serious. Falling victim to an identity thief could leave you thousands of dollars in debt – and cost you thousands more as you try to clear your name and regain your reputation.
A careful review of your credit profile is one of the best defenses against identity theft. If someone is opening accounts in your name or taking out loans, that information will show up first on your credit report. Notifying the credit reporting agency – and the police – of any unauthorized activity is the best way to nip identity theft in the bud.
Bad Credit Could Cost You Your Dream Job
You already know that the local mortgage lender will check your credit report carefully, but what about your future boss? Many companies routinely screen the credit reports and credit scores of job seekers – and what they find could cost you the job.
Be sure to check your credit report carefully before you enter the job market. Check for any potential errors that could lower your credit score and cause a potential employer to look unfavorably at your job application.
As you can see, your credit report affects much more than your ability to get a loan. Knowing how your credit report is used, and how to check it, can help you fight identity theft, save money on car insurance or even land a great new job.
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to pull a free credit report over at annualcreditreport.com.