Should I pay to check my credit score? Ideally, no, but the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows companies to charge to see your score, so in some cases, you may not have a choice.
Credit Score vs. Credit Report
Don’t confuse the two. A credit score is a statistical number that measures the value of a user’s reputation and is based on credit history. Your credit score is a numerical representation of your credit report. The higher your credit score, the better your credit report. You can get your free credit score here.
A credit report is a detailed report of an individual’s credit history prepared by the credit bureau. Once a year, you can request a copy of each of your credit reports from all three major reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Go straight to annualcreditreport.com and follow the simple instructions. It’s free and easy.
How To Get Your Credit Score For Free
Remember that FICO scores are based on the same credit report – not every one of the big three credit bureaus to calculate your score. Discover, for example, provides TransUnion scores, while First uses the National Expert Score. However, the difference between the two scores should be small.
Related: 5 Best Credit Score Apps
Your Credit Score Matters
There is more than one credit score and it’s important that you know and monitor all of them. According to FICO, 90% out of all lending decisions use a FICO score. If you are going to pay for your score, the absolute best to know and monitor your FICO score is myFICO. But there are ways to get your score for free.
Related: Credit Karma vs FICO Score
When you get a home or auto loan, You don’t need to know this:
Your FICO score is a great way to assess your credit health, but it’s nothing more than a reflection of your credit reports – which you get for free. If you pull out all three of your reports, review them carefully, clear up any misinformation, dispute any errors and monitor them annually.
Here are some exceptions: If you’ve lost credit, your score is an easy way to measure your progress as you work to restore your credit. It’s also a good idea to check your score six or more months before a major purchase to make sure you’re set to get the best rates on your car loan or mortgage.
Related: How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Early
Do You Need To Pay For Your Credit Score?
No, you don’t need to pay in order to access your credit scores. Credit apps like Credit Karma is free for you to use but it only gives you two of the three credit score. Credit card companies, will give you access to your credit scores for free if you have an account with them but none of them will give you all three.
If you are planning to buy a home, auto loan or personal loan you should research what credit score the lender will use so you can monitor it and fix it. If they are using the FICO score you should consider using myFICO to track on your monitor you credit for the purchase you plan on making. FICO has many different scores it uses to do your research on the one you need.
If you have bad credit you should focus on ways to increase your credit score before you apply for a home or buy a new car. You can hire a credit repair company to help you dispute items from your credit report or you can fix your credit on your by using The Credit Repair Blueprint Course.
Do you have bad credit, no credit or want to learn how to become a credit expert?
The Credit Repair Course includes:
- How to find your credit report and your ACTUAL Credit Score
- A breakdown of how your credit score is calculated
- How to increase your credit score in each category
- The best tools to increase your credit score fast
- How to dispute negative items from your credit report
- Credit dispute letter templates and when to send them
- The best credit cards for your credit score
- How to use credit cards to leverage your money and business
- How to use credit cards to get free travel, bonuses and rewards
Learn how to fix your credit for life by enrolling in The Credit Repair Blueprint today!