Staying on top of your finances is always a good idea, but it can be even more important if your credit is struggling. In an era where identity theft and information breaches are common, protecting your information should be a priority.
Why Monitor Your Credit?
Your credit shapes your financial outlook. Knowing what information goes on your credit reports and into your scores is important, especially if there are any big ticket items in your future that'll require financing, such as a car.
By monitoring your credit, you’ll be able to see if your information has been compromised, or if there are any mistakes on your credit reports. Having the ability to catch issues early and report them to the national credit bureaus will ensure your healthiest credit.
How Do I Check My Credit?
There are several ways to stay on top of your credit, ranging from free services to paid monitoring. Choosing the method that’s right for you depends on your needs and situation. All US consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report from each of the three national credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian – once every 12 months. You can request one or all three by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.
To monitor your credit throughout the year, we recommend you get a report from one of the bureaus every four months. This will allow you to continually keep watch on the information in your credit reports, and dispute mistakes or suspicious activity in a timely manner.
Your credit scores typically come at an additional charge, but there are several ways you can obtain them for free, such as with Discover Card’s Credit Scorecard Program. Other credit card providers and companies like Credit Karma offer similar services to their customers.
Credit Karma Introduces New Services
Credit Karma is one of several companies that offer consumers free credit monitoring services. According to their mission statement, Credit Karma is a truly free credit monitoring system. Now, in light of recent events including the Equifax data breach, Credit Karma is adding another feature to their list of financial services: free ID monitoring.
According to Adam Boender, product manager for Credit Karma, this service will allow them to alert you as soon as possible if you’ve been affected by a data breach, and provide the next steps to consider for securing your information. “The sooner you can take action in these situations, the better,” said Boender.
In the automotive world, Credit Karma is becoming an even bigger force for credit monitoring by expanding their services with their new auto assistant program. This new service is the first of its kind, and will provide consumers with a central location for the digital management of everything related to their vehicles.
According to Credit Karma, auto assistant will provide:
- DMV Profile Insight – The service will gather driver’s license and vehicle registration data for your household, so you can check for information accuracy and keep track of expiration dates for registration and licenses.
- Value Monitoring – Auto assistant will keep track of your vehicle’s value over time to help you make decisions on when to buy, sell, or end a lease.
- Recall Monitoring – You'll be notified if any recalls are affecting your vehicle and tell you when new safety recalls are announced.
- Loan Monitoring – Credit Karma will analyze your vehicle, loan details, and credit and alert you if there are refinancing opportunities available.
- Insurance Assessment – By monitoring your credit profile and vehicle data, the service will compare your data to other Credit Karma members who’ve gotten insurance quotes, and let you know if there's an opportunity to save. Plus, you’ll be able to compare rates directly on Credit Karma.
Don’t Let Bad Credit Stand in Your Way
Monitoring your credit is just one of the ways you can prepare your finances for a big ticket item. Being prepared is always important when seeking auto financing. If you’re ready to take the next steps toward a new vehicle, but don’t know where to turn, let Auto Credit Express be your guide.
We can point you toward a local special finance dealer with the lending resources available to help people in tough credit situations. We work with an extensive nationwide network, and we want to work with you, too. Getting started is a snap, simply fill out our free online auto loan request form today!