Having a good credit score matters. It affects whether or not you can get a mortgage or other loans, the interest rate you pay, whether a landlord accepts you as a tenant, and a whole host of other reasons. However, just checking your credit score doesn’t improve it. It’s also questionable whether the credit score you see matches the score that banks and other institutions see when they check on you.
To improve your credit score, you need to maintain reasonable debt levels and pay your bills responsibly. Instead of monitoring your credit score, you can just get a free copy of your credit report from Equifax and TransUnion once per year to make sure it’s accurate. You can do this by calling them and going through their automated phone system to order a mailed copy of your report. If something is wrong, you can try to get it fixed.
These free credit reports don’t give you your score, but they do list your creditors and a measure of how responsible you’ve been with payments for each one. If your credit reports are accurate, your debt levels are reasonable, and you’ve made your debt payments on time, your credit score will take care of itself. But if your credit reports are accurate but unflattering, the only good remedy is to handle your money more responsibly. Businesses that claim to be able to improve your score can’t make the truth go away.
I frankly can’t tell whether the many of bloggers who advocate checking your credit score regularly actually believe what they write or are getting paid to write this stuff. But I think it’s better to worry less about your score and more about handling your debts well and making sure your credit reports are accurate.