We’re back with another edition of Molly’s Money. Molly’s Money is a little series I write here on this blog answering all your personal finance questions and, well, finance questions in general. I realized that after getting out of debt, that so many people were having the same issues I was, but no one was talking about them.
So this series was born. It’s goal is to let people know that they are NOT alone and that yes, you can do it – you can become debt free and live financially free.
Anywho. This week’s topic is all about the importance of monitoring your credit score.
Now wait, wait, wait! Before you run away. I swear this isn’t as boring as it sounds.
Monitoring your credit score is SO super important for SO many reasons. Just a few being:
- Making sure you’re not the victim of identity theft or credit fraud
- Giving you a good feel for where you stand with the “big guys” – you know, the credit bureaus… so you know, you can buy things or get a loan for a house or car or something.
So yeah, you CAN (and probably should) get your FREE credit report each year. You are entitled to one free, comprehensive credit report per year from all three credit bureaus. HOWEVER, beware that when you go to websites like FreeCreditReport.com, etc. that you may be getting yourself signed up for costly credit monitoring… which is, you know, not free.
So, just be careful!
BUT, if you have a computer OR smartphone (more specifically an iPhone or Android phone), I am going to tell you about my FAVORITE, totally 100% free (never costs you anything) site and app: Credit Sesame.
I’ve been using it for a little over a year and a half and it monitors your credit score for you all the time. Now, I hardly (and by hardly, I mean never) use the desktop version / interwebs version… I ALWAYS use the app on my iPhone.
So, here’s a little tour of what you get.
I have my Credit Sesame app in my “Finance” folder…
After you’ve registered for a *FREE* Credit Sesame account, you’ll want to open the app. When you launch the app, you will enter in a 4-digit pin, and then it will take you to the screen you see below. On this homescreen you can see your credit score (approx), total debt, how much your home is worth (if you own a home), and any alerts or notices on your credit report.
If you click on the “TOTAL DEBT” button, you can view all of your debts that are being currently reported by the credit bureaus. (I’m not going to lie, seeing $0 in that box makes my heart so happy!)
If you click on your credit score, you can view where you fall in the spectrum. My credit score just went up last month and I LOVED getting that notification! It has been a long, hard battle getting my credit back to normal after being in so much debt, but it has been so worth it.
That number, is a number I worked HARD for. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s a HUGE improvement from where I was four years ago.
Anyway, there are a ton of other AWESOME features of this app. But the one that I would say makes it SUPER worthwhile is the fact that you will get alerts when there is ANY kind of change to your credit score (good OR bad) or to your credit report in general (good OR bad).
So, if you don’t already have an account, I HIGHLY, HIGHLY encourage you to go get one… now.
*I should note that this post is NOT sponsored by Credit Sesame in any way. They have absolutely no clue who I am or what I do. I found the app about a year and a half ago and have been using it ever since and I love it… so I wanted to share my little nugget of information with my readers!
What about you? Have you ever used Credit Sesame before? Do you monitor your credit score / report regularly? Sound off in the comments!