If you have questionable credit you can boost your FICO scores by monitoring your credit

Credit monitoring

Many of the poor credit applicants we send to our dealer network can further improve their credit scores by either paying for or setting up their own credit monitoring service.

At Auto Credit Express we know doing this can make a difference because we've spent the past two decades helping car shoppers with less than perfect credit find those new car dealers that can offer them their best opportunities for car loan approvals.

But once many of these consumers have been approved there is another step they can take to help boost their credit scores even further.

Credit monitoring services

In addition to making their monthly car payments on time they can take the additional step of monitoring their credit reports. There are a number of ways this can be done.

To begin with, all three of the major credit bureaus plus other companies like www.freescore360.com offer programs that allow consumers to easily oversee their credit. The cost to monitor the report from a single bureau typically begins at around $6.95 a month while the cost to monitor all three can run $12.95 or more.

Most of these providers offer additional services that can include score monitoring, reports with scores, score watch, score power and credit watch. Equifax even offers a program that enables you to "protect" a family of up to six people that costs $359 per year.

Do it yourself

But for consumers that can't afford these services or for those that would simply rather keep that dollar-a-day cost for themselves a little bit of effort can result in a do-it-yourself credit watch program.

This is possible because the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act allows consumers to get one credit report at no charge from each of the three bureaus at twelve month intervals. It should also be pointed out that these reports are in addition to laws that allow individuals to receive reports at no charge if they are denied credit, discover errors in their reports, or they suspect they're a victim of identity theft.

The easiest way to set up your own program is to order a no cost reports from a different bureau every four months – essentially setting up your own free credit monitoring service.

But it gets even better. If you find reporting errors at one bureau - such as an account that isn't yours - you can immediately order reports from the other two under the ID theft free report system. This is in addition to the free yearly report.

Consumers are also allowed order an additional no cost report, at any time, if they are denied credit based upon the information supplied by a specific credit bureau. In this case this will give consumers multiple looks at their credit reports from each of the credit reporting agencies.

As we see it

It's important that you monitor your credit but it's even more critical if your credit scores are low and you're trying to improve them.

If you have the money and don't have the time you can sign up for a paid monitoring service. But with a bit of time and not much effort consumers can set up their own credit monitoring programs and save themselves $100 or more per year.

One more thing to keep in mind: Auto Credit Express matches applicants that have experienced car credit issues with dealers that can offer them their best opportunities for approved car loans.

So if you're ready to establish your auto credit, you can begin now by filling out our online car loans application.