After the financial crisis of 2007, a lot of people turned their backs on all things involving credit—they slashed their credit cards and stopped taking out loans. While economic down times can cause you to think twice about having any outstanding debt, managing debt and having a good credit score is still important for anyone who wants to be in good financial health. And your credit activity may even affect your employment or housing options. That’s why getting a credit check is more important than ever.
Here are 4 reasons why you should check your credit on a regular basis.
Prepare Yourself to Buy a Home
If you live in the United States, you probably know that housing prices are increasing all across the country—they’re especially bad if you live in populous states like California or New York. If you want to buy a house, you can make your purchase significantly more affordable by maintaining a high credit score. A good credit score will typically grant you better rates on your mortgage so your monthly payments won’t be so high.
Monitor your credit score by getting your credit report once or twice per year. If your score is low, you can work toward improving it so it’ll be higher when you’re ready to search for a home and take out a mortgage loan.
Make it Easier to Get Financing
Mortgages aside, a good credit score will help you get better rates on any kind of financing you receive from lenders. Whether you’re trying to start a business or get financing for a new car, good credit will most likely get you better terms when you apply for a loan. If you have an emergency that requires a large sum of money (a medical emergency, for example), it would be great to be able to take out a quick loan to pay for it (“rainy day funds,” as they call it).
Check your credit score frequently and work toward improving it so if you need to take out a loan for an emergency, entrepreneurship, or pleasure, you’ll get the best possible rates and save a ton of money.
You Can Be More Competitive When You’re Applying for a Job
Did you know that some employers may ask to run a pre-employment credit check on you? That’s right. It’s not good enough anymore to build a good resume—many employers also like when you demonstrate financial responsibility, as reflected by your credit behavior.
Your prospective employer won’t be able to see your credit score, but they’ll be able to see how much outstanding debt you have. If you’re in the running for a competitive job, you don’t want your chances to get derailed by having lots of outstanding debt.
Why would employers care about your credit? Here’s why:
Bad credit may suggest irresponsibility or lack of organization
Bad credit may suggest you’re more likely to commit fraud or theft from the company
If you’re applying for a financial job, bad credit may suggest you don’t possess enough financial know-how for the company
Check your own credit today and make sure that you have a good score so you’ll be more competitive when you’re job hunting.
You Can Be More Competitive When You’re Applying for Housing
If you’re trying to move into a new apartment, your landlord will most likely run a tenant credit check on you. Landlords don’t want to offer a lease to someone who has lots of debt because that person is less likely to pay rent on time. Housing markets are competitive these days, and if you want to beat the competition and secure your dream apartment, you should check your credit frequently and do what you can boost your score.
While it’s easy to ignore your credit score once you’ve finished taking out a loan or opened a new credit card, you should monitor your credit score as often as you can to make sure your credit trustworthiness shines. You’re able to get one free credit report each year through one of the three major credit bureaus, and you can also use credit monitoring services to view estimates of your credit score throughout the year.