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You should regularly review your credit reports and scores so that you know what to expect when shopping for the best deals on new loans and lines of credit. A good credit score can save you money by helping you qualify for low-interest mortgages, car loans, and credit cards. Lenders are more likely to offer lower interest rates to those with high credit scores, because they signify a history of good credit behavior. Low interest rates mean you pay less in interest each month on your credit cards, cars, home, and personal loans. These savings can mean you pay hundreds or even thousands less to your creditors each year.
Having good credit saves you money even if you aren’t applying for a new loan. It can help you get that great deal on an apartment, that high-paying job you interviewed for, and lower car insurance and life insurance premiums. It can also keep you in the good graces of your existing creditors, making it less likely that they’ll ratchet up your current interest rate.
The key to determining your eligibility for credit is assessing how you’ve handled past credit obligations. Your credit report provides potential lenders, service providers, employers, and other authorized parties with information about your credit history. A deep understanding of your credit report can help you to use credit responsibly and be able to identify errors that may impact your creditworthiness. Since creditors report your credit activity to the reporting agencies frequently (generally monthly), it is important to review your credit reports and scores often. Keep in mind that there are lots of free credit report tools out there, but none of them offers the ability to track, update, and forecast your credit scores.
Different lenders have different definitions of a “good” credit score. Generally speaking, credit scores greater than 720 will help you qualify for loans with low interest rates. Scores can range from the 300s to the 800s. The better your score, the more likely you are to qualify for a new auto loan, credit card, or mortgage at a competitive interest rate.
NationalCreditReport categorizes credit scores in the following manner:
Credit monitoring will continuously check your credit reports for you, and alert you whenever any changes or additions appear. NationalCreditReport will send you an alert whenever an organization checks your credit, whenever your personal information changes, when a delinquency or other piece of negative information is added, or if a new account is opened in your name. Credit monitoring is the best way to ensure that you know about fraudulent activity before it wrecks your credit. The sooner you learn that your identity has been stolen, the easier it is to get it back.
Identity theft happens when someone else accesses your personally identifiable information—such as a name, date of birth, or Social Security number, and uses it to obtain goods, services, credit, or false credentials. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of ways that criminals can access personal information and use it to commit crimes. Our learning center provides information to help you better understand the different types of identity fraud that exist, and what you can do to protect yourself.
* Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.
** Identity Report, Neighborhood Sex Offender Monitoring, and Identity Monitoring are available as feature upgrades in some membership packages