Home > Credit Score > Never Checked Your Credit Score? You’re Not Alone

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It’s very easy to get your credit scores these days, because you can buy them or get them for free through a variety of companies. While credit scores influence your ability to access loan products, they also have a significant impact on non-credit aspects of your finances, like how much you pay for insurance, utilities or rent.

Credit scores are important, but 16% of people polled in a recent Credit.com survey had never checked their credit scores. Of those who had seen their credit scores before, nearly 40% hadn’t viewed them in the past 12 months, and most of those who checked a score within the year (54%) had only done so once.

These numbers came from a Credit.com survey of of 2,206 U.S. consumers, 18+, using Survey Monkey Audience, between April 25 to 27.

Why You Should Look at Credit Scores

Even if you’re not planning on taking out a loan any time soon, you should prioritize improving your credit, because your plans may change and you could find yourself in need of a loan or a credit card. The last thing you want to worry about in an emergency is whether your credit is in good shape.

Credit scores also play a role in other parts of your life as a consumer. For instance, if you have a bad credit score (here’s how to tell) or no credit history, a landlord may want to charge you a higher deposit, because your credit score (or lack of one) makes you a riskier tenant. Lenders aren’t the only ones to use credit scores to assess the risk of taking you on as a customer, which can be frustrating for consumers who prefer to live without credit.

If you’re not checking your credit scores, you may be overlooking some important information about your finances. Perhaps you think you are a very responsible consumer. If you look at your credit scores and they are lower than you expect, it’s a sign something needs to change. Perhaps you’re spending too much on your credit cards, which hurts your credit utilization rate. Maybe you’re doing nothing wrong, but someone has stolen your Social Security number and used it to open fraudulent accounts, which are reported to the credit bureaus and affect your credit standing.

It may not seem like a big deal that only 16% of people haven’t checked their credit scores. It’s an issue, but it’s not as alarming as the percentage of survey respondents who haven’t checked their scores in the past 12 months. Your credit scores can change every time new information is sent to a credit reporting agency. In short: Credit scores constantly fluctuate. The score you had two months ago could be several points different than your score today. That’s OK — you definitely shouldn’t freak out over a change of a few points — but the longer you go without checking your score, the less likely you are to identify things you need to change in order to maintain good credit.

Considering how easy it is to get your credit score, you may want to add it to your other financial habits, like checking the balances on your accounts and monitoring your credit card transactions. Getting your credit score doesn’t have to be financial burden, either. Sites like Credit.com let you see your credit scores for free, and as long as you look at the same score regularly, you’ll see how your financial behaviors affect your score.

More on Credit Reports and Credit Scores:

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Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team