Where can I get my credit scores for free?
A: This has to be the question I’m asked more often than any other. You can get your credit reports for free, but credit scores – in particular, FICO scores – require a fee. I think there’s a perception that all scores are free because of the television commercials that make this claim. Frequently, credit-monitoring companies offer a “free” credit score if you buy their monthly services. This might be an option for you if you’re in a situation where your credit score is an issue and you need to know what’s going on in your credit life on a regular basis.
But for most folks, it will be enough to check your credit report every few months and your credit score as needed. You can get a free credit report every year from each of the major credit bureaus by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. Here’s what I recommend: Request your free credit report from one of the agencies—Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian—every four months. Using this approach, you get a glimpse of what’s going on with your credit report throughout the year. You have the option of ordering your score after you receive your report.
You can also use Credit.com’s Free Credit Report Card to get a clear summary of where you stand in the five major areas that make up your score. You’ll also get solid advice about how to improve your grade in each area. It doesn’t have any impact on your credit score and it’s a great way to see a clear picture of your credit life.
Image by Marcus Metropolis, via Flickr