How You Could Protect and Rebuild Your Credit — Without Paying for Any Expensive Services

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Something they didn’t talk about in school? How your credit score can significantly impact your future.

Here’s the thing: Lenders use your credit score to determine how likely you are to pay back loans, mortgages and credit cards. Meaning, if you have bad credit, you might not get approved for that car loan, mortgage or school loan you desperately need to pay for college. And if you do get approved, you might be dealing with insanely high interest rates — like you’re basically paying three or four times the original cost of your purchase.

It gets worse. Your credit score doesn’t just impact your finances. It can also affect things like your insurance rates and what apartments you qualify for. It might even impact who’s willing to hire you.

And it only takes a few mistakes to lower your credit score — like making one late payment. Or, you know, when someone gets your Social Security number off the dark web and racks up thousands of dollars in your name.

But that’s why it’s so important to stay on top of your credit score. And with a free credit-monitoring app like CreditWise from Capital One, it actually takes very little effort to keep tabs on everything — signing up won’t impact your credit score, either.

CreditWise is a Capital One product, but you don’t need to be a Capital One customer to use it. It’s available to any U.S. resident over 18 with a Social Security number that can be matched to a credit profile from TransUnion. And did you catch that it’s 100% free?

CreditWise isn’t focused on getting you to spend money on things you don’t need. Instead, CreditWise focuses on providing its millions of customers with secure and reliable credit-monitoring tools that can help them make choices that could both protect and rebuild their credit scores.

Free Credit- and Dark-Web Monitoring That Alerts You to Threats

With the CreditWise app, you can access your credit report any time you want, right from your phone. Your report will break down the key factors impacting your score while providing personalized tips that could help build your credit.

It also vigilantly scans the dark web for any compromised personal info, like your email address or Social Security number — to help protect your identity.

When you sign up, CreditWise will immediately alert you if it detects any of your personal information on the dark web. And from there, it can guide you through a few simple steps to either prevent or minimize the damage. Phew.

A Credit Score Simulator that Plays Out Your Future

Want to figure out how applying for a specific loan might affect your credit score? CreditWise has a credit score simulator for that. No big deal. Just plug in your hypothetical financial decision to explore its potential impact on your credit.

See what happens if you pay down your balance, increase your credit limit or take out yet another student loan (ugh). Your possible future scenarios are endless. And, when you know how certain actions (or inactions) could impact your credit, you can confidently make the real-life financial decisions that will build your credit. Oh, and CreditWise takes your security seriously. All customer information is secure, encrypted and protected by advanced security protocols.

Get Started with CreditWise

Once you sign up for your free CreditWise account, you’ll get instant access to your credit report, dark web alerts and the CreditWise Simulator. The whole process only takes a few minutes. To get started, sign up for CreditWise here.

CreditWise compensates us when you sign up for CreditWise using the links we provided.

The CreditWise score is calculated using the TransUnion® VantageScore® 3.0 model, which is one of many scoring models. Some monitoring and alerts may not be available if your enrollment information does not match the information at one or more consumer reporting agencies.

Alerts are based on changes to your TransUnion and Experian® credit reports and information CreditWise finds on the dark web.

The tool is not guaranteed to detect all identity theft.

The CreditWise Simulator provides an estimate of your score change and does not guarantee how your score may change.