After years in the economic wilderness, the UK is starting to see some growth again. Lending is up, unemployment is down and interest rates are set to rise once more, possibly by the end of this year. In short, there has never been a better time to get your free credit score. You can find out more about a free credit score here, but read on to find out why they are so important.

Knowing your credit score is like having a secret weapon. You can take action to improve a poor score long before you need to apply for a loan, thus putting yourself in a better position to ask for low interest rates. With the current base rate of 0.5% set to rise to 2.5% by 2017, you can be sure that the interest rates on your mortgage, credit card or personal loan are set to go up as well.

Finance (PD)

Even if you are on a fixed rate borrowing scheme, the time will come when you have to renegotiate your deal. If you can go into your bank knowing that you have a high credit score, you will be in a much better position to go after the most competitive deals. A lower interest rate on your mortgage could save you hundreds of pounds every month at a time when your friends and neighbours are watching their interest rates slowly creep up.

However, your free credit score is valuable for other reasons as well. By getting in front of your credit report, you can learn from the financial mistakes of your past and work to correct them. Many people are surprised at the seemingly small issues that can negatively affect their credit score. For instance: an unpaid phone bill from a few years back, or a disparity in your electoral roll registration. Most of these credit issues are easily fixed. You can simply pay off any old debts that are damaging your credit score, or call your local council and make sure your details are correctly listed on the electoral roll. Most importantly, by being more aware of your financial footprint, you can work to build and maintain a high credit score going forward.

Getting a free credit score also presents an opportunity to protect yourself against identity fraud. You can make sure all your information is accurate and up to date, and if you spot any irregularities in your report you can investigate accordingly.

It is free, fast and easy to find out more about your credit score, but a free credit report is truly invaluable. It can help you save money, consolidate your finances, update your information and weed out fraudulent activity. If you are planning to apply for a loan or mortgage in the near future, get ahead of the banks by running your own credit profile first, and then acting to improve it.

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