Knowing and understanding your credit score is important. Your credit score impacts many areas of your life, especially if you are planning on making a big purchase. If you’re planning to buy a house or a car and need to borrow money, you’ll need to know your credit score. Whether you’re just getting started on your credit journey or you’re trying to improve your credit score, knowing how to find your credit score is crucial.
You can get a free credit report from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. Due to the financial hardships, many people are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the site is continuing to offer free weekly credit reports through April 2022. One thing to note is that this free annual credit report doesn’t include your credit score. Not to worry! There are several different ways you can find your credit score.
Use a credit score service. Companies like Credit Karma can offer free credit scores because they are funded via advertising on their site. All you have to do is sign up and provide your personal information to access your score. Other sites may offer a “free trial” of their services (which usually include credit monitoring along with your credit score), but they require you to sign up for a membership. In most cases, you can cancel your membership within a certain timeframe to avoid being charged. Be sure to check the fine print when consulting a free online credit score service.
Consult your credit card company or lender. In some cases, you may not even need to reach out. Some credit card companies and lenders have started to provide monthly credit scores to customers. Take a look at your monthly paper statement or log into your online account to see if your credit score is available. If not, contact the customer service number listed and ask if they will provide you with your credit score.
Connect with a non-profit credit counselor. In 2015, FICO updated its policy with the three credit reporting agencies to allow consumers who receive nonprofit counseling to gain access to their credit reports and scores. Non Profit organizations that offer counseling services (whether financing, housing, or credit counseling) can buy credit reports and scores for the consumers they serve and provide assistance reviewing them. For more information, visit the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).
Purchase your credit score. You are able to purchase your FICO credit score directly from myfico.com. There are a variety of other services that also allow you to purchase your credit scores from the three bureaus. You do not have to purchase credit score or identity theft monitoring or any other services that may be offered.
No matter which service you use, keeping tabs on your credit score can be helpful. Even if you’re not planning on making a big purchase or borrowing money now, you may need to one day. Understanding what your credit score is and how to improve it can ensure that you are able to access the money you need when you need it.