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Do you check your credit score routinely? Most of us do

credit score concept on the screen of smart phone, checking payment history in bank
Song_about_summer / Shutterstock
More than half of Americans check their credit scores at least monthly.

More than half of consumers are looking at their credit scores at least every month, according to the survey that was released Tuesday. But that still leaves millions who aren't in the habit.

Among those who peek at their scores monthly or more, 71% say they feel in control of their day-to-day finances. Only 54% who don't often review their scores are willing to say that.

Credit scores and the credit reports used to calculate them help Americans "build an awareness and an understanding of their creditworthiness, gain financial confidence and protect their personal identities and financial assets," says Austin Kilgore, the director of digital lending for Javelin, in a news release.

When was the last time you saw your credit score? Experts recommend that you check it regularly, because an unexpected drop can be a big warning sign that fraudsters have targeted one of your accounts, or could mean there are errors on your credit reports.

A credit monitoring service can help you stay alert against those types of issues. More than half of survey respondents using credit monitoring — which you can get for free — say they do it to stay vigilant and protect themselves from identity fraud.

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Survey finding: Consumers love free credit scores

Checking your credit score won't hurt your score — in fact, the opposite is true. More than a third of consumers with "subprime" credit were able to raise their credit score through regular monitoring between March 2018 and March 2019, the study says.

Boosting your credit score can help you get credit cards and other loans, and qualify for a lower mortgage rate.

Yet only 21% of people with poor credit are keeping watch over their credit scores, versus nearly half (48%) of those with "prime" credit.

Seeing your credit score shouldn't cost you anything either. Many people have gotten wise to that fact, the survey finds.

An impressive 87% of consumers who are checking their credit scores on a monthly basis or better say they don't pay for access to their scores.

Getting your hands on your credit score used to be more difficult, and Americans were often resigned to being charged fees. But recent years have brought an explosion of ways you can take a look at your score without paying a penny.

Check your credit score for free today.

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The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.