If you want to apply for a mortgage, take out a personal loan, or apply for an auto loan then you’re going to need a good credit score. And it’s much easier to maintain a good credit score than it to rebuild a low credit score.
But even if you always pay your bills on time, it’s possible that inaccurate items can show up on your credit report. If you’re regularly tracking your credit score, you’ll see these items as soon as they appear and can request to have them removed.
That’s why it’s important for all borrowers to regularly monitor their credit score. If you’re looking for a way to get started, you can check your credit score for free with Chase Credit Journey.
What is Chase Credit Journey?
Chase Credit Journey is a free credit monitoring tool offered by Chase. You can sign up even if you aren’t a current Chase customer, and can check your VantageScore 3.0 by TransUnion.
Your score will be updated on a weekly basis. And if you’ve been a member for at least a year, Chase will show your credit history for the previous 12 months. You can check your credit score as much as you want, and your score won’t be impacted.
One of the unique things about Chase Credit Journey is that it provides a credit simulator tool. This tool shows you your current credit score and lets you see how certain actions could help improve your score.
For instance, it will show you how lowering your credit utilization ratio could impact your credit score.
Chase also provides alerts so you can monitor your score for fraud or identity theft. You’ll be notified about the following credit activity:
- New credit inquiries
- Improvements to your score
- Derogatory marks on your account
- Fraud alerts
- Any changes to your personal information
- New public records
How Does It Track Your Score?
It’s important to understand that Chase Credit Journey’s credit monitoring tool is not an actual credit report. However, it does monitor your credit score in a similar way.
Here are the factors Chase Credit Journey evaluates when monitoring your credit score:
- Payment history: Once a payment is more than 30 days late, it will be reported to the credit bureau. Late payments can hurt your credit and stay on your credit report for up to seven years.
- Variety of accounts: It’s a good idea to have a combination of credit accounts. For instance, if you have a credit card, mortgage, and auto loan this looks better than just opening three different credit cards.
- Credit utilization ratio: Your credit utilization ratio is the amount you’ve spent in comparison to the available credit amount. For example, if you have $1,000 in available credit and spent $200, then your credit utilization is 20%. In general, it’s a good idea to keep this rate below 30% or your credit score will likely take a hit.
- Total balances across your accounts: Chase will also evaluate your total balances across all of your open accounts. Just like with your credit utilization ratio, it’s a good idea to keep this number as low as possible.
- Recent inquiries: If a lender recently did a hard inquiry on your account, this can temporarily lower your credit score. It’s never a good idea to have multiple inquires within a short period of time.
- Age of your accounts: Chase will also consider the age of your oldest account. In general, older accounts will help you more than brand-new accounts. This is why it’s never a good idea to open and close credit cards frequently.
Pros and Cons
Here are some of the biggest pros and cons of opening a Chase Credit Journey account:
- Completely free credit monitoring service
- You don’t need to be a Chase customer to sign up
- You’ll receive daily alerts about your credit score
- Chase will provide free credit-building tips and resources
- You’ll see your Vantage 3.0 score, not your FICO score
- You won’t receive a copy of your actual credit report
- Some reviews claim that the Chase Credit Journey score is not entirely accurate
How to Sign Up
Signing up for Chase Credit Journey is easy, especially if you’re an existing Chase customer. If you’re already a customer, then you can access your score from your Chase account.
If you’re not a Chase customer, you can enroll on the company’s website. You will have to go through a verification process to confirm your identity but this is relatively easy.
Chase will likely send you offers for financial products from time to time, but you’re not obligated to sign up for anything. Your Chase Credit Journey account is free no matter what.
Alternatives to Consider
Overall, Chase Credit Journey is a good option for anyone who is looking for free credit monitoring options. However, it isn’t the only free credit monitoring service available. If you’re looking for some alternatives, here are a few you can consider:
- Credit Karma: Credit Karma is another free credit monitoring option. The company also tracks your Vantage 3.0 score and provides credit-building tips and resources. The company will also recommend lending products that might be a good fit for you based on your credit history.
- Credit Sesame: Credit Sesame provides free credit monitoring services, as well as a personalized credit report. This will give you insight into some of the biggest factors impacting your score, like your credit utilization and payment history.
- TransUnion: TransUnion’s credit monitoring services aren’t free, but it’s one of the most accurate credit monitoring services available. You’ll receive updates on a daily basis and have the option to lock your TransUnion and Equifax reports with the click of a button.
Tracking and monitoring your credit score is essential for anyone who wants to build credit. Chase Credit Journey is a good option for anyone that’s looking for a free credit monitoring tool.
Signing up is easy and you don’t have to be a Chase customer to use the service. The credit score you receive is not your actual credit score and may not be entirely accurate, but it’s pretty close. At the very least, it’ll give you a good idea of where you stand.
If you’re on the fence, you can consider alternatives like Credit Karma or Credit Sesame. These companies provide similar services that are also completely free for borrowers. If you want more in-depth insights, you can look into paid credit monitoring services like TransUnion.
Using a free credit monitoring tool is a good start, but it’s not a replacement for checking your actual credit report. You should continue to request a free copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. You can receive one free copy of your report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus.[Read More: Best Credit Monitoring Services of 2020]