For better or worse, your credit score plays a significant role in your financial life. Not only do lenders like mortgage companies, credit card issuers and personal loan providers take a peek at your credit score, employers, insurance companies, and landlords also want to know as much as possible about your financial credibility. The credit score provides a quick glimpse into how responsible you are with your money, and the higher it is, the more likely you are to obtain affordable credit, insurance, and maybe even a new career.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, every consumer has the right obtain a copy of their credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) once per year at no cost. However, your credit score is not part of that provision. Knowing your credit score helps in being prepared for new credit accounts, and so it is necessary to understand where you can obtain your credit score at no cost when you need it.
There are several companies housed online that provide a no-cost credit score to users, without requiring you to sign-up for a trial offer. The most prominent, Credit Karma, offers a simple sign up with no credit card required and provides your TransUnion and Equifax credit score, monitoring of credit activity, and credit reports that are easy to read. Similarly, you can get your free Experian credit score through Credit.com, and your free personal and business, Experian and Dun & Bradstreet, credit scores through Nav. Credit.com and Nav only includes a summary of your credit reports for free, but you can upgrade to their premium monthly services to view more.
If you are interested in getting regular access to all three of your personal credit reports and scores, you can through Credit Sesame for only $14.95/mo. Credit Sesame also provides your TransUnion credit score and summary report for free. Each of the aforementioned sites has a simple account setup process that asks for your name, date of birth, and other identifying data to verify your identity. However, each site varies slightly in the information they provide, the frequency at which it is provided, and scores are based on the VantageScore Model.
More and more creditors are providing your credit score to you at no cost, either through their online or mobile platform or printed directly on your monthly statement. For instance, Discover offers credit card account members with their FICO score for free, pulled from TransUnion. Citi also provides free access to your FICO score if you are a card member, based on data provided by Equifax. You may also get your free FICO credit score if you have a Chase Slate card; the score is derived from Experian credit data. In addition to these major credit card issuers, free credit scores are also offered with the following popular companies:
All three credit reporting agencies offer consumers access to their credit score, albeit for a fee and, in some cases, an ongoing subscription. To avoid this unnecessary charge, look to your current accounts including credit cards and loans, for free access to your credit score. If your creditors do not offer this service, check out one of the alternative options through Credit Karma, Credit.com, or Credit Sesame to grab your credit score – and a better understanding of your overall financial picture – for free.
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