Nov 23, 2017

When you want to know your credit score, you may think that buying it is the only way to find out what your magic three number score is. You know that’s the number lenders use to gauge just how creditworthy you are – will they or won’t they lend you money and what interest rate are they are going to offer.

Stop!

There’s no reason to pay for your credit score.

If you’re paying for your credit score because you don’t know where to attain it for free, then you’re really just not looking. That’s the word from John Ulzheimer, an industry professional who worked with Credit.com, Equifax, and FICO.

Of course, what you see should only be taken lightly.

Where Can You Get Your Credit Score For Free

Credit Card Companies (Discover, Capital One, etc.)

The latest company to provide access to credit scores – for free, mind you – is Discover. While most folks would assume that it’s just for the cardholders, it’s really not. Any consumer can use the Credit Scorecard to attain their FICO score, which runs in the range of 300 to 850. The data comes from the credit bureau scoring company Experian.

If you’re a Discover cardholder, the information on your FICO score comes from your TransUnion information. It’s been offered since 2013 on both your monthly statement and online.

More and more credit companies are offering free credit scores as a promotional tool to lure customers in. In fact, a 2015 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report noted that over 50 million consumers have access, via a credit card issuer, to their credit scores.  For instance, CitiBank, Capital One, First Bankcard and Barclaycard US all offer free credit scores to their consumers.

Speaking of Capital One, the credit card issuer revamped its credit tracking tool. It’s now called CreditWise, and it uses the TransUnion VantageScore 3.0 tool. It’s accessible to any consumer, whether or not they are with the company

Third-Party Websites (CreditKarma, Credit.com, etc.)

There’s also the option of going to third-party websites such as CreditKarma, Bankrate.com, CreditSesame.com and more. These sites let you look at your credit score for free, offering reports on what is influencing the number.

Why You Should Keep A Close Track Of Your Credit Score

Do you really need to keep a watchful eye on your credit score? The simple answer is yes, and there are all kinds of reasons you need to watch your credit score “like a hawk”.

·      Your credit score is important to all things in life – your vehicle, your house, your job, etc. You become a better-informed borrower and can take the necessary steps to improve your credit situation.

·      It can save you money. Remember, your credit score is used to determine if you qualify for a loan and how much interest you’ll be paying back on that loan. When your credit score falls in the good to excellent range, lenders are more likely to offer a lower interest rate, meaning you pay less money back.

 ·      If you notice a dramatic drop in the score, it could be a sign that someone’s trying to steal your identity or committing some kind of fraud in your name.

Bear in mind that your credit score may not be the same across the board. Each website will use a particular scoring model and credit firm. And, the credit score you see – whether you’ve paid for it or got it for free – may be the one that the lender finds when they pull your credit report.

The FICO brand can have dozens of scores under it. Just because you see a 750 on your credit score, it doesn’t mean the auto lender is going to see that number when you apply for a loan.

Why Get Your Credit The Free Way?

When you get your credit score the free way, you save yourself a ton of money. For instance, at MyFICO.com, the price to get just one credit score is $19.95. If you decide to get all three – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – you’ll be paying close to $60 to attain your score.

Free won’t give you an exact score, but it does give you a starting place to see how credit worthy you are and if there is room for improvement. Don’t pay for your credit score anymore!

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