Skip to main content
3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Check Your Credit

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Check Your Credit

By Matt Diehl • October 02, 2018

Does hearing the word “credit” give you the chills? While these jitters could make you want to avoid it completely, building a good credit score can be essential to a secure and healthy financial life. Here are some ways that checking your credit can be more useful, and less scary, than you think:

1. It can help you spot identity theft

There was a record high 16.7 million victims of identity fraud in 2017. Credit card fraud ranked second highest among all types of identity theft, so keeping an eye on your credit report could help you spot a problem right when it starts.1 Issues to look out for include:2

  • a new loan or credit card account opened in your name
  • a public record showing you’ve filed for bankruptcy
  • a legal judgment against you
  • your credit limits have changed

If you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft, go to www.identitytheft.gov and file a claim. They have information and recovery plans for more than 30 types of identity theft, including credit card fraud.

2. You can make sure your personal information is correct

Checking your credit score also lets you double-check that your personal information is accurate. If your information is incorrect or mixed with someone else’s, it could create issues for everyone involved. Make sure the following identification information is correct each time you check your credit:

  • Full name, including middle name and suffix, such as Jr., Sr., II, III
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Complete address, including apartment number if applicable

If you find any mistakes, follow these steps to dispute the errors.

3. It can help you plan ahead and achieve goals

Maintaining a strong credit score can help your financial future in several ways. Those with higher credit scores tend to get more favorable terms on loans and mortgages and even get cheaper auto insurance rates.3 Here are some potential goals you could set and achieve:

For more info, check out all our blogs on credit and credit management.

Not as spooky as you thought

Credit scores can be intimidating and even a little mysterious. However, once you begin to understand and use them to your advantage, you’ll wonder why you were ever scared in the first place.


Are you a OneMain customer? If so, we provide your VantageScore® credit score for free in your online account. Log in or sign up for an online account today!


 

1. Insurance Information Institute. “Facts + Statistics: Identity theft and cybercrime.” Iii.org. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-identity-theft-and-cybercrime (accessed August 27, 2018.)
2. Federal Trade Commission. “Identity Theft Protection Services.” Consumer.ftc.gov. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0235-identity-theft-protection-services (accessed August 27, 2018).
3. Consumerreports.org. “The Secret Score Behind Your Rates.” Consumerreports.org. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/car-insurance/credit-scores-affect-auto-insurance-rates/index.htm (accessed August 27, 2018).


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of OneMain. The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else. The author was compensated by OneMain for this post.