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Why you shouldn’t make a habit of checking your credit score

Since the massive Equifax hack, credit ratings have been all over the news. And when it comes to credit scores, a lot of people have a lot of questions.

How is a credit rating determined?

What is the ideal credit score?
You want to have a score of 750 or higher. A FICO rating of 750 or above will prove to employers that you’re a “steady ship” and will get you the job, your lenders will give you the best rates to save you money, and landlords will give you the lowest down payment on your apartment.

How do you keep your credit rating high?
One of the ways to keep a high credit score is to keep only two (three, at the most) credit cards. When you have too many credit cards, it lowers your overall credit available and your rating. Keep it to two or three cards and fix the limits to your desired amount. Call up your bank or credit card company and make sure that they don’t have auto-limit increases. It also looks good to have a mix of credit, such as a car loan, a credit card, a line of credit, etc.

Your payment history makes up 35 per cent of your credit score, so it’s crucial you pay your bills on time. Missing one payment won’t hurt your rating, but missing them consistently will you put the late-payers list, or worse.

Other tips: Don’t charge more than 30 per cent of a card’s limit and don’t close your oldest credit card.

How do you check it?
It’s free to check your credit score once a year, and companies like Borrow Well will update you quarterly. You can find your rating from the three credit rating agencies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Your credit rating is very important, so treat it like you would any other important information.

Is it bad to check your credit rating constantly?
Try to limit your credit checks to only once a month because having several credit inquiries on your report will lower your rating.