Coldwell Banker Realty

When Should You Check Your Credit Score?

by Nancy Higginbotham 09/05/2021

Photo by Andrey_Popov via Shutterstock

Federal law allows you to get your credit report free once per year. To do so, go to and request your report. You need to do this at least once a year so that you can correct any errors or missing information.

Differences Between Credit Report & Credit Score

You typically have more than one credit score depending on its use. Two of the most common are the Vantage score and the FICO score. The Vantage score uses a different algorithm from the FICO score. Places such as your employer, auto insurance company or landlord typically use the Vantage score or one similar to it. Housing lenders more often use the FICO score. FICO has as many as 60 different scoring algorithms, as does Vantage scores. 

How Are FICO & Vantage Alike?

Currently, both scores range from about 300 (low) to 850 (best). In general, both Vantage and FICO use your payment history, the age of your accounts, balances versus available credit, type of debt you hold and how frequently you seek credit based on recent applications.

Types of debt can be revolving, such as a credit card; secured, like a home or auto loan; personal debt as when you take a consolidation loan, medical and education loans.

How Often Should You Check Your Scores?

While your credit report is free once a year, your credit scores from the three leading suppliers (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) are not. But frequently, your bank, credit union, credit card providers and other financial institutions offer the opportunity to get them free. You should utilize these promotions as often as you can to keep on top of your score.

Each car payment you make — or when you pay off a credit card — changes your score. It could change by several points overnight too. Since credit “age” affects your score, don’t close old accounts. Periodically make a charge and then pay it off to keep that account active and in the mix.

New laws make it easier to see which score a lender uses too, so if you’re denied credit or offer a higher interest rate than you think you should be getting, you can check it out. When the two scores (Vantage and FICO) differ by a lot, you need to check your credit report to see what might be wrong. While it could just be the closing day of a credit card accounting cycle, it could also be something more serious like identity theft.

The closer you get to purchasing a home, the more you need to be on top of your scores. Don’t wait to review them because a problem can take a while to fix.

About the Author

Nancy Higginbotham

Ready to downsize into a Denton County home that compliments your current lifestyle?

After years spent in your current home, it’s time to part ways. You’ve made memories, shared laughs, hosted guests, and evolved as a person, but there comes a time to let go and move on to a smaller house that fits your current needs. 

As you get ready to sell, you’re left with many questions: How do I maximize my equity? How do I handle offers? What do I do in negotiations? And on and on…

Look, the process is far from simple, but no one expects you to know it all. 

For many of us, selling our home is the largest financial transaction of our lives. So, no, you’re not expected to know all the details and methods for capturing equity. But there are people who do... 

Like me.

You deserve the help of a real estate professional that knows how to price and market your home so that you secure the highest possible price in the fewest days on market.

Truth is, there’s a lot more to a successful real estate sale than posting a sign in the yard and a listing online. Without a realtor that has your interests at heart, and who will work hard for you, you could easily leave money on the table and have a bumpy ride. 

After all these years of hard work and earned equity, you deserve to find a home that meets your current needs without the excess stress and worry. 

Allow me to help.

As a native Texan and a 14-year resident of Denton County, I know our local area real estate. I know how to help you “right-size.” I use proven full-service marketing strategies and strategic pricing to position your home competitively.

As your reliable Realtor®, I’m there with you every step of the way. I also advise you on home preparations that can maximize your ROI. In fact, I offer services that can get the work done for you at no upfront costs—You’ll only pay at closing.

Selling real estate doesn’t have to be stressful. Let’s make this transition as smooth and successful as possible for you.

Call Today for Your Initial Consultation → 817-905-5138

We’ll discuss your goals for selling and I’ll briefly outline my process for getting my clients results. If we seem like a match, I’ll go ahead and schedule our Strategic Marketing Consultation.

Call Today → 817-905-5138