Checking your credit for free

Finance experts will tell you that it's important to keep a close eye on your credit record, for a number of reasons. First of all, a good credit history is the key that opens many doors for you. Not only does it mean you'll have a better chance of buying a house and getting a good rate on a loan, it also has other implications.

Your credit history determines whether you're eligible for a credit card, what your interest rate will be, and whether you qualify for any special promotions. Some employers will do a credit check before hiring you, so that's another place a good credit record comes in handy.

Insurance companies check your credit and factor that in when determining your rates. Better credit means better insurance rates. It's also important to keep an eye on your credit record to make sure no one has stolen your identity and that no credit card company has made a mistake in reporting your activity to the credit reporting agencies.