Looking for ways to tend to your credit isn’t always easy. There are a lot of different things that play into getting a good credit score, but one of them is being able to see it evolve. If you don’t have a bad credit history, then you will just need to make sure that you aren’t being burned by mistakes and errors on your credit history. Even if you think that you’re really doing everything right, it only takes a little mistake to bring your score down. Some mistakes can really bring your score down a great deal and make you think that your credit score is worse than it really is. You just need to make sure that you get a good monitoring service.

What goes into a credit monitoring service? Plenty!

First and foremost, you want one that’s going to pull your credit report from all three credit bureaus. Sure, it’s easy to just get your Experian report, or your Equifax report. But it is Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion that hold information on you. And contrary to popular belief, it’s very possible for these companies to actually have plenty of differing information on you.

So from here, you also need to think about how often you get fresh reports. Ideally you want to get new reports at least monthly — but if you get real time monitoring, that’s even better. However, it’s realty not the end of the world if you only get monthly updates. You just need to ensure that you are getting some sort of update.

The goal here is to be able to watch your score. A lot of people scoff at the idea of credit monitoring services, but the truth is that they can be motivating. If you have bad credit, you might feel that the little things really don’t do anything to raise your credit score. But when you really are trying to get things done, you’ll find that the little rises in credit are going to make you feel much more committed to taking care of things.

The nice part of online credit monitoring services is that they will give you a free trial before you actually have to sign up. From there all you really have to do is test out all of the features. A three in one credit report system is generally what you will get, but some sites still only specialize in one credit report or another.

It’s very important that you are able to get your score as part of the monthly fee. And that’s your credit score for EACH of the credit bureaus. If you don’t do this, then you will only end up spending more money. A lot of these sites like to try to get you to buy your score, but they’ll give you a free credit report history. Don’t fall for that — if you don’t get your score, you need to move on to another site that will give you these scores.

Worried about a hard inquiry showing up on your credit report because you are looking at your credit history and score so many times? Don’t — these are actually soft pulls, which means that they don’t affect your credit score at all. Some debt collectors and other unsavory financial types will try to lie to you about this, but it’s just not true. These companies know that if people are trying to improve their credit, they really don’t want to find that they are not able to actually do so because of all of those hard inquiries. Don’t worry about that — just work towards better credit and everything will be just fine!