Where to go to check your credit score.
One of the most popular questions asked by customers when pulling their credit report is “what’s my score?” This is a topic that many people are interested in because they know that their FICO credit score can affect many factors in their life such as how much credit is provided to them, where they will live, and even how much they will pay on their car insurance. We would all like to care a little less about our score, but the necessities of our lives will not allow for that.
How To Get A Free FICO Credit Score
If you do not know your FICO score, then you can find out what it is, typically, for a price. When pulling your free credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union, each agency will ask if you would like to know your FICO score. Each of these agencies offers a free copy of your credit report every 12 months (through AnnualCreditReport.com), but they typically do not offer the score for free. But there are ways to get your FICO credit score for free, albeit with a small catch. One way to do this is to sign up for a free trial membership to a credit monitoring service so that you can get a hold of your FICO score. Here are some sources for your FICO credit score, where you can get them for free (with some caveats) or where you can order them on discount:
|myFICO Product||Discount / Promotional Code||Price|
|myFICO Score Watch||Free 30 Day Trial||Free for 30 Days then $99.95 a Year or $9.95 a Month|
|FICO Standard: Equifax||Discount Code for 20% Off is Automatically Applied||
|FICO Standard: TransUnion||Discount Code for 20% Off is Automatically Applied||
|Suze Orman’s FICO Kit||Discount Code for 20% Off is Automatically Applied||
How About Free non-FICO Scores?
Most other sites that promote “free” credit monitoring services actually offer free trial subscriptions for a limited period of time that allow access to your credit information. But the scores provided are NOT FICO scores. If you sign up for a service just to get your report and score, then cancel the service (typically within 7 days) to avoid getting charged:
|Credit Monitoring Service||Free Trial Period||Price|
|FreeCreditReport.com||7 Days||After the Trial, $14.95 a Month|
|CreditReport.com||7 Days||After the Trial, $14.95 a Month|
|FreeCreditReport360.com||7 Days||After the Trial, $29.95 a Month|
|Smart Credit||5 Days||Basic Membership is $29.95 a Month, Enhanced Membership is $39.95 a Month|
You may also check out a site like Quizzle.com that offers absolutely free proprietary credit scores, but these are usually not the kind of scores that most lenders require or review. These are proprietary scores that may give you some idea of how you’re doing financially, but are not the standard FICO scores used by many lenders and mortgage companies. Quizzle offers the free score in hopes that you will take advantage of the other products and services offered on their site.
Before you order a score, make sure you ask your lender what kind of score they use to review your credit. Is it a FICO score or something else?
Details on FICO Credit Scores
Once you find out what your score is, how do you know if it’s good? Note that different scoring systems have different scoring ranges. So when reviewing a consumer’s FICO score, most creditors are looking for a rating of 700 or more. When your score is this high, you are viewed as less of a credit risk. Therefore, you are offered more credit and lower interest rates, which saves you money. If your score is not this high, there are many steps you can take to improve your credit score.
In order to become educated about what is and isn’t in your FICO score, you can visit myFICO.com, which contains comprehensive information on the topic of credit management. They offer tips on improving your credit score and repairing your credit. In addition, this site also has a helpful application that can be used to draft dispute letters that are meant to be sent to credit reporting agencies, in case you need to dispute any items on your report.
You have the right to a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com
or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.