You probably know all the common reasons to get your credit score. You’re getting a mortgage or a credit card and you want to know if you’ll be approved. But there are other reasons… and they may surprise you.

I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute.

Too many people only check their credit scores when a life event requires them to apply for credit. Here are six situations where having a good score and knowing where you stand can help you more than you can imagine:

One. You’re Starting College.

You don’t need good credit to qualify for federal student loans, but if you want to rent an apartment or get a car loan either before or after graduation, your credit score will probably prove more important than your GPA.

Two. You’re Expecting A Child.

Few events have the impact on your financial life as having a child. You’ve got 18 years of bills coming at you and you better be ready for it. What if he needs braces… or maybe she’s accepted to an expensive school. You may need a loan and knowing your credit score will come in handy.

Three. You’ve Been To The ER.

Medical billing problems are common and some patients don’t even know a bill has slipped through the cracks until it shows up as a collection account on their credit.

Four. You Were the Victim of a Data Breach.

If your personal information has been compromised, you’ll want to pay careful attention to your credit both shortly after the breach and for several years thereafter. Just because no one’s hijacked your bank account in the short run doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.

Five. You’re Worried About An Identity Theft.

If you accidentally clicked on a suspicious link in an email, got a collection call, lost your wallet, or have any reason to suspect your personal information has been compromised, a sudden unexplained drop in your credit score may well be an early warning signal that you’re a victim.

I’m Adam Levin. Come to and take control of your credit.

An audio version of this story was originally broadcast as part of The Credit Minute series on the Wall Street Journal Radio Network.