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Your credit score plays a huge role in your ability to access different credit products at affordable interest rates. In fact, your credit can also impact your ability to get a rental, a job or even a cell phone contract. Given the importance of your credit score, monitoring it can often provide many benefits.

Why Should You Monitor Your Credit Score?

There are a number of reasons you should monitor your credit score, from understanding your credit to protecting it from identity theft. 

 Reason 1. To Understand Your Credit Health

A good reason to check your credit score on a regular basis is to always be in-the-know about where you stand in regards to your credit health. As we’ve already mentioned, your credit score can play a huge role in your ability to access credit. In fact, many lenders, particularly banks, have minimum credit score requirements. Knowing your credit score can help you apply with lenders whose minimum requirements you meet. This can help you avoid applying with any lender you don’t have a chance of qualifying with, moreover, you’ll avoid any unnecessary hard credit checks which can negatively affect your credit. 

No matter what shape your score may be in, it is absolutely essential that you know what it is. If your score is high, great. If it’s not, at least you’ll know that you need to take steps to improve it.

Reason 2. Find Out What Is Affecting Your Score

If you keep tabs on your credit score, you’ll be better able to understand what actions are affecting your credit. For instance, you might notice that you have a few missed payments on your accounts or that your credit utilization ratio is high. By having a clear understanding of how specific actions may be impacting your credit score, you will know what you should do or avoid to help improve your credit scores. 

Reason 3. Catch Any Errors

Mistakes on your credit report can cause your score to dip without you knowing.  By checking your credit score and looking over your report, you’ll have the opportunity to see if all information is accurate. If your score is lower than you think it should be, this may be a sign that there may be errors on your credit report that need to be investigated and fixed by the credit bureaus.

Reason 4. Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

Identity theft is rampant these days, especially as more and more personal information is being put out there on the internet for hackers to see. Identity theft can have a serious effect on your finances and credit health. By monitoring your credit, you’ll be better able to spot signs of identity theft and take appropriate action to stop any damages from it. 

How To Spot Identity Theft?

Your report will outline any pertinent information that has to do with your credit history, including your account information, your payment history, and your personal information. If you pull your report and suddenly notice that your credit score has plummeted despite having a stellar payment history, this may be a red flag that something is wrong.

When you take a closer look, you just might notice that there is a mysterious credit card account on your credit report that you never took out with multiple missed payments on it. It’s highly possible that someone has been using your personal information and identity in order to take out a credit card and has been using it for spending sprees without you even knowing 

Free Equifax credit score

Who Offers Credit Monitoring Services? 

There are a number of providers who offers credit monitoring services including the two major credit bureaus in Canada.

 Monthly PriceFeatures
TransUnion$24.95– Get key credit report alerts
– Unlimited access to credit report and score
-Personalized debt and credit analysis and advice
– $50,000 identity theft insurance
Equifax$19.95 or  $29.95– Identity theft insurance
– Identity restoration
– Lost Wallet Assistance
– WebScan
– Credit Score Trend
BorrowellFree– AI credit coach
– Product recommendations
First Report$12.99 or $19.99– Monitors both credit reports
– Monthly credit scores, quarterly credit reports
– Historical scan–
ID restoration
Marble Premium $29.99– Credit Scores Simulator
– Budget Simulator
– Track Spending
ID Assist$14.99 or $19.99– Monitors both credit reports
– Monthly credit scores, quarterly credit reports
– Historical scan
– ID restoration

To discover the ways your credit accounts affect your credit score, look here

What Is Fraud Alert? 

A fraud alert is a service that places a notice on your credit report to let future lenders and creditors know that your identity has been compromised. When lenders and creditors see this notice, they know to take extra precautions before extending credit to you. A lender may ask for additional identification or may even call you before approving a loan for you. These extra steps can help prevent identity thieves from gaining access to credit and services under your name. 

Where Can You Check Your Credit Scores?

 CostCredit ScoreCredit Report 
CompareHub logoFreeYesYesVisit Site
Borrowell logoFreeYesYesVisit Site
CreditKarma logoFreeYesYes-

Credit Monitoring FAQs

Does credit monitoring protect you from identity theft?

Credit monitoring cannot stop you from being a victim of identity theft, however, it can help protect you from an identity thief looking to use your information. Credit monitoring is a reactive solution, as in, it helps you spot signs of identity theft where you can then take action to prevent any damage by adding a credit alert to your file. However, credit monitoring doesn’t stop identity thieves from stealing your information. 

How often should you check your credit scores?

You should check your credit scores every 6 months or at least once a year. However, it’s best to check your credit scores periodically. This will give you the best opportunity to spot changes, errors, and signs of identity theft.  

Will monitoring my credit hurt my credit score?

No, credit monitoring will not affect your credit scores. When you check your own credit report, it’s considered a soft inquiry which does not impact your credit.

What’s the difference between a credit score and credit report? 

A credit report is a file that details all your credit account activities. A credit score, on the other hand, is a number between 300 to 900 that is calculated using the information in your credit report. 

Bottom Line

Considering the importance of your credit score, it makes sense to monitor it on a regular basis. Credit scores are constantly changing as the credit bureaus receive new credit information on you. So knowing where you stand with your credit score will give you more insight into your finances and will tell you whether improvements need to be made to get your score in better shape. 

Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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