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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Discover Financial 
Services. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

Look, your credit score is important in every phase of your life. It can dictate how much you pay in interest on credit, what car you drive, what apt you rent or house you buy. It’s a big deal and you know it. Yet, yet! All you do is “keep an eye on it” and get a rough idea on how it is rising or falling once a year or so when you may run your credit for some purchase or loan. That’s not keeping an eye on anything, that’s just sitting back and hoping for the best. It’s time to get proactive about your credit score, and it only takes two steps: Check your score today, then freeze your credit. Let’s discuss:

Check your credit score

This part is the easiest – 10 minutes max. Discover has rolled out Credit Scorecard, a free online service that enables everyone to check their FICO® Credit Score for free. You don’t even have to be a Discover customer. I’m not, but when I heard about this service I wanted to check it out. Log on, give your credit details, and boom – instant credit score. Credit Scorecard is also a “soft pull” of your FICO® Credit Score, meaning it will not impact your credit score in any way. This is just a free tool that is seriously useful for protecting your credit and knowing what’s up with this uber-important metric in your life.

Freeze your credit

Did you know it was possible to freeze your credit report? To stop new lines of credit from being opened in your name while still being able to use your credit card or pay your loans? I sure didn’t, until one of my three Facebook friends who doesn’t post about his kids/dog mentioned it. Then I went ahead and froze it so I could tell you how to do it. Simply go online to any credit reporting agency websites and navigate around till you find “Credit Freeze” or “Security Freeze.” It prevents ne’er-do-wells who have stolen your identity from actually opening new lines of credit in your name. This means they can’t open new credit cards, make new loans, or open any accounts until your credit is unfrozen. PS, you should still monitor your bank accounts or credit card accounts as fraudulent transactions can still occur. Your credit score continues to improve (or worsen), but no new liabilities can be accrued. When you actually need a new loan, simply find out what credit agency the bank or firm is using and unfreeze in about 10 minutes. Easy!

I feel so much better now that I’ve done this, and the whole process took me about 45 minutes. Now I’m aware of my current credit score, and have confidence that it is secure until I need it. Who needs 3 steps when you can have just 2 to financial security!

Now go do it.

 

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Adam Kaslikowski
About the Author

Co-founder and CEO of FactoryTwoFour. I enjoy writing about all factors of this lifestyle of ours. If I'm not writing or running F24, you can generally find me in the garage tinkering on a vintage car or motorcycle. If you need anything from me, try bribing with Randy's Donuts first.

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