Many of us are bound to need a car loan someday, or a mortgage. And majority of us will want to apply for a credit card at some point. Well, it’s a challenge to get credit these days, so it’s important for us to keep an eye on how our credit is doing — something which we should check on a regular basis. Is your credit in good enough shape for you to be able to qualify for the loans you need? Before you need to take out a loan, find out your credit score so that you’re able to take action to lower your score — which in theory would yield lower interest rates.
So to get your credit report for free each year, visit AnnualCreditReport.com — from where you can order credit reports from all the major credit bureaus each year. But if you’re interested in more than your credit report and would like to also pick up your FICO score, you can do so from a few sources. Take note that there are companies that offer free credit scores, such as CreditKarma.com and Quizzle.com, but these scores are proprietary and are non-FICO scores. For actual FICO scores, which most lenders use, you’ll have to turn to either myFICO.com or Equifax for this information.
Where To Get Your Equifax Credit Report and Score: Review of Equifax Products
This article focuses on what you’ll get from Equifax. Equifax is one of the credit bureaus that offers credit monitoring services. They offer a variety of products to help consumers manage their credit reports and protect against identity theft:
- Equifax Score Power allows you to get your FICO credit score and Equifax credit report for $15.95. Also included are explanations of the score and report, and use of Equifax’s online dispute feature so you can start to fix any errors you find.
- 3-in-1 Credit Report lets you compare your credit history from all three credit agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. This service provides you a line by line comparison of your credit information in one report, which allows you to review your credit history in a convenient fashion. This service is $29.95.
- 3-in-1 Credit Report with Score Power combines the two services above for $39.95. You’ll get all three reports and your FICO score as well, in one package. Your FICO score will be presented with helpful information that will allow you to see where you stand against other consumers and will show you how you are viewed by lenders.
- Equifax Credit Watch Gold can assist you if you want to monitor your credit reports on a monthly basis. With it, you can receive alerts within 24 hours if there are key changes made to your Equifax report. You’re also entitled to pull an unlimited number of Equifax credit reports, plus you might be eligible for up to $25,000 of identity theft insurance.
There’s also a Family Program for credit monitoring to cover members of your family. To cover yourself along with additional family members, it does cost a bit of money. You’d have to determine if it’s worth the cost of a few hundred dollars a year to proactively keep track of your credit information.
- Equifax Score Watch will let you know if your FICO score changes in a manner that will affect the interest rates you’d receive. You’ll receive email or wireless alerts about key changes to your Equifax report, and you’ll also get two free Score Power reports. All this for $9.95 a month.
Equifax Helps You Fight Identity Theft
Equifax ID Patrol can help you fight off identity thieves in several ways: to monitor your credit reports, you can access a 3-in-1 Credit Report for free, and you can get unlimited Equifax credit reports. The service also monitors your three credit reports for key changes and alerts you when such changes are discovered. If you’re aware of LifeLock, this service will seem similar. Equifax ID Patrol is $14.95 a month.
If you run into problems, you can lock and unlock your Equifax credit report in real time. In addition, Equifax ID Patrol searches areas of the Internet for any misuse of your personal information like your Social Security number and credit card numbers. Both of these benefits would give you some peace of mind in the event that your wallet is ever lost or stolen. Also, you might be eligible for up to $1 million in identity theft insurance.
So it all boils down to whether you’d prefer to put in the work of monitoring and tracking your credit information yourself, or whether you should pay for a service to do this for you. Although you could go through the work of pulling the credit reports and your FICO score on your own, employing the assistance of one of Equifax’s services can save you time and spare you the trouble of having to remember to do all the legwork.
Now in the event that you pull your Equifax credit report and want to correct a mistake, you can initiate a dispute online, by phone, or by email. Most disputes can be resolved in a month to 45 days, according to their FAQ. Make sure that the credit bureaus fix any errors you find because errors can lower your scores and raise the interest rates on the loans that you seek.