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Your Take: How Often Do You Check Your Credit Score?

I’m a numbers guy. I love seeing numbers, trying to find trends, and playing with statistics. That’s probably one of the reasons why credit scores fascinate me so much, they are able to distill a bunch of actions you take as a person and package it up into this convenient three digit number that lenders go nuts over. I’m not saying the system is good or bad, but it’s the system and you have to play by the rules of the game.

That being said, I’ve been using Credit Karma [3] to check my score every month. It’s a TransUnion credit score based on TransUnion data, so not technically a FICO credit score, but since I don’t plan on getting a loan, it’s not important that I get the most accurate number. Plus, Credit Karma is free and I’ve already entered my information so I might as well take advantage of it. In the time I’ve been monitoring my score has increased from a 721 back in November of 2008 to a 731 just yesterday (May 28th).

The reason I check my score every month isn’t because I want to know what the number is. In fact, I could care less because I’m not getting a loan. The reason I check is because it can give me an early indication if there’s something fishy going on. It’s like faux (and free) identity theft protection on my TransUnion credit report. I know what I do and I know how my credit score should be affected, so if I see any large changes in my score, I should check my TransUnion report for anomalies (one free check a year through AnnualCreditReport.com [4]!).

I think once a month is plenty but lots of people sign up for services like MyFICO [5] (which is not free after their 30 day trial) to check every day or week, I think that’s probably too much.

How often do you check and why?

(Photo: auntiep [6])