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Don’t Check Your Score Every Day

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This is a Angel's Advocate post.

The conventional wisdom is that you should check your credit reports at least once a year and your score only when you need it. This morning, I argued in a Devil’s Advocate post that services make it easy (and free, in some cases) to check your score all the time so you might as well do it.

This is part two of a two part Devil’s Advocate, Angel’s Advocate article in which I argue both sides of an issue. This is the Angel’s Advocate post, here is the Devil’s Advocate post where I argue you should be monitoring your credit score all the time!

Focus On The Report, Not Score

You should be requesting a free copy of your credit reports using AnnualCreditReport.com and spending your time reviewing those for errors, not focusing on your credit score. While your credit score is important, it’s calculated based on your report so that’s where you should spend the bulk of your time.

I know you don’t have a ton of time to devote to your credit report and score, so spend it on the more important of the two.

Credit Score Tiers

In trying to find out what is a good credit score, I discovered that the interest rates on mortgages and car loans fell into discrete tiers. On a mortgage, if you had a score between 760 and 850, you could expect a mortgage interest rate of around 4.46% APY. That means that a 761 paid the same thing as a perfect 850. The next tier was 700 – 759, so someone with a 701 paid the same as someone with a 750.

Once you find out which tier you’re in and how far away you are from the next tier, you don’t really need to monitor as closely. This is doubly true if you don’t plan on getting a loan in the near future!

Spend That Time Elsewhere

This morning, I said overchecking your score beats underchecking your score, which is an argument I still stand by. However, it ignores the fact that checking still takes time and it’s time you could devote to other things in your life. Financial fitness is important, of course, but it’s more important to focus on the factors involved in your score, instead of the score itself. Take a few minutes to setup paperless statements and email reminders so you don’t miss payments. Set up debit arrangements do you don’t have to mail a personal check each month. Or, go take a walk around the block and enjoy the outdoors and do absolutely nothing financially related.

I don’t mean to disparage the people who check their score every day but I think it’s unnecessary. I recognize with services like Credit Karma and MyFICO, it takes only a few minutes, so some of my reasons may not apply to you, but sometimes it’s better to spend those minutes with family and friends, instead of your computer and your credit score. :)

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12 Responses to “Don’t Check Your Score Every Day”

  1. Couldn’t agree more. I check my score monthly via Credit Karma (takes a few minutes) but only check the report once per year to check for errors.

  2. Sorry, but everyday is overkill! The people who do that need to get a life!

  3. eric says:

    I’m an angel. :)

  4. Rob says:

    if everyone would stop worrying about a stupid 3 digit number called a fico score, then we could all worry about each other and help each other out. superficial people worry about shit like that. pay cash — its better for local bizness and a better principle for life in general than checking your score everyday.

  5. thomas says:

    Credit Score love affair is an industry driven hoax. Who benefits the most from checking every day? The companies. Just like anything, too much of something can be a bad thing.

  6. Lucy says:

    I’m definitely with the “Angel”. Once a month is enough, honestly. Everyday is just obsessive-compulsive.

  7. Patrick says:

    I agree that people checking their score every day need to find something better to do with their time. It’s the same with people who check their retirement accounts everyday. It’s good to keep up with them, but over checking will drive you crazy.

    • thomas says:

      Woah! I check mine every day. I can’t fall under the category of “crazy.” Actually you are right, it really is pointless to be checking a retirement account every day especially if your time horizon is 20+ years. It’s not magically going to hit $1M overnight.

  8. Ryan P Smith says:

    You should certainly be focusing more on your report than score. Checking your report regularly will ensure that it is accurate and help protect you from id theft; that will keep your score as good as it can be.

    If you have disputed errors on your report I can see closely monitoring your score to make sure they are removed and stay removed.

  9. Mike says:

    As long as you aren’t close to the cutoff for one of the tiers, it seems to me that checking three or four times a year would be sufficient. I use Credit Karma.

  10. mike martin says:

    How does one get his credit score without paying for it. I just recently received my 3 credit reports free but no score was assigned. when I log in I always get a company wanting me to sign up for their monitoring program for $29.00 @ month. Is their a site that I can go to without paying?

  11. roberta says:

    I check mine every day but if you have ever had your credit screwed up you would too. It only takes one thing to make it negative so dont be stupid check it everyday something that takes few minutes can keep you from a big pain inthe butt !Q!


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