As New Year’s resolutions to get your personal finances into better shape fade away, here are two reminders of just how important your credit scores and credit reports are to your bottom line.

Credit score can affect auto rates

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine recently listed five things that can hike your auto premiums. Their first tip was how auto insurance companies have a new found theory that people with low credit scores are more likely to get into accidents, leading them to charge higher premiums. (Kiplinger’s pointed out that a few states, like California, don’t permit insurers to use credit scores when setting rates.)

Don’t Ignore Your Credit Report

Over at Consumer Reports magazine, an article outlining seven money stumbles to avoid, discusses the importance of not ignoring your credit report.

Citing identity theft as a growing trend, the magazine stresses the importance of reviewing your credit report on a regular basis to see if any fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name. As we’ve discussed in previous Pathways articles, you can get a free copy once a year from each of the three reporting bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com.

Consumer Reports pointed out, however, based on a recent survey they conducted, that four out of five people — 81 percent — don’t bother checking their credit report.

Doing a little bit of homework and taking advantage of free resources can help you improve your credit report and score, which could help save you money.