How to Get a Free Credit Score
It is important to have a good credit score! Your credit score determines your access to all types of credit. It determines if you qualify for a loan with an organization such as Prosper.com. If you want to pay a low interest rate on a home mortgage or be approved for a good credit card, you need a good credit score. If you want to rent an apartment, you may not be able to do so if you have a low credit score. Your credit score is even used in evaluating how much you pay for car insurance–the difference between low and high scores can be thousands of dollars. Employers may even pull your credit report as part of a job application process.
Credit scores go from 300 (the lowest possible of the terrible) to 850 (an extremely reliable and low-risk borrower). The following chart illustrates what percentage of Americans fall into what ranges of credit scores:
The significance of those various scores is illustrated by the table below:
Obviously, being higher on the scale of one of these categories is better than being on the lower end. Someone with a FICO score of 732, for example, will be viewed with much more favor than someone with a score of 671.
Your FICO credit score is determined by the following categories of information:
How can you obtain and maintain a good credit score? Always pay your bills on time. Really, that is just loving your neighbor as yourself. Wouldn’t you want people to pay you on time? It is not only a right thing, it also improves your credit score. Don’t max out the credit that you have–avoid debt entirely or keep it very, very low. Don’t go crazy applying for new credit cards or other forms of credit (it makes you look like you are desparate.) As you do these things over longer and longer periods of time, your credit score will grow higher and higher.
It is a good idea to always be aware of what your credit score is. Happily, you can get free credit scores from the following organizations. You can also buy a score from a credit bureau or obtain one by signing up for a free trial that you will pay for if you do not cancel. However, why should you pay for something you can get for free? You ask, “How can these organizations afford to give me a free score?” They make money through website ads. I am willing to deal with a few ads in order to get a free score. Some credit cards also give you a free score every month. It is important to note that none of the options below for obtaining a credit score negatively affect your score–they are definitely not like applying for a new credit card, etc. that constitutes a hit on your report. Checking your score in the manner below has no effect on it whatsoever–you are checking your own credit, rather than another company checking it for the purpose of determining if you are credit worthy. If you want to view your credit score for free, here are some of your options:
CREDIT SESAME offers you a free credit score every month based on your TransUnion report. You do not need to provide credit card information, as they do not charge you for this service. They also provide free daily credit monitoring through e-mail alerts or a smartphone app. Like the other companies below, they make their money solely through advertisements, so unless you click on an ad on their website and buy something, you will never pay anything for their service. They even offer $50,000 in identity theft insurance for free! (The fact they can give this service to people for free shows that it is almost 100% certain that you should never pay for such insurance. Consumer advocacy organizations recognize this; see here and here].)
Get your free credit score and free $50,000 in identity theft insurance from Credit Sesame by clicking on the banner below:
Other companies that offer free credit scores and are worth looking into are Credit Karma (scores updated weekly), Credit.com (score updated once a month), and LendingTree (score updated once a month).
Finally, you are legally entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report every year by visiting https://www.annualcreditreport.com. It is a very good idea to get these free reports and check them over to make sure that they are accurate. Wrong information (or people fraudulently personifying you and utilizing your credit) can cause you real problems, and you can avoid many of these by checking your credit report regularly.
Note: If you use the banners on this webpage for Credit Sesame I will receive financial compensation. I can in good conscience say that there is nothing on this website that I would not have said were I not an affiliate of these companies, and I believe that it is appropriate that we both benefit from the information I have put together for your betterment (1 Timothy 5:18). However, if you are bothered by the fact that I will be compensated if you use these banners to sign up, you can sign up on the webpage of either or both companies without clicking on these banners, and I will get nothing. If you choose to use the buttons on this webpage, I offer you my sincere thanks.