Credit scores are powerful entities. If you find it odd that a simple, three-digit number can change the course of your life, you’re not alone. In essence, the entire pursuit of credit repair is about changing these numbers for the better, allowing you to buy the home you want, save money on insurance and loans, and generally live a better life. The first step in this process: understanding and accessing your credit scores. Yes, you have three, each different and offered by The Big Three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. The good news is, there are plenty of places that offer free access and information about your credit files. Read on to learn more.
Note: Any credit score not obtained through MyFICO.com is not a genuine FICO score; the score most often used by lenders, and should not be considered as such. Scores obtained from other websites are for informal comparison purposes only and will likely not be acquired by lenders when considering applications for new credit.
Every consumer is entitled to receive one free credit report each year from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Rather than visiting each bureau’s site individually, Annual Credit Report provides easy access in one place.
In addition to providing your TransUnion score, VantageScore, auto insurance score, and home improvement score, Credit Karma is packed with tons of freebies, including:
- Up-to-date credit analysis of current accounts, trends, and changes to your credit score
- A credit score simulator, allowing you to add and subtract accounts to predict the effects
- Reviews on popular credit cards and loan providers
- Credit tools and advice to help you improve
Credit Sesame offers your free Experian credit report and score in addition to helpful mortgage and credit card calculators. They also provide informative articles and the tools necessary to keep your finances on track.
Free Scores USA provides quick access to all three of your credit scores and information about the anatomy of credit reporting.
Free Score 360 allows you to keep track of your Big Three scores by providing instant access, including daily credit monitoring and alerts.
Free Credit Click provides unlimited access to all three of your scores and monitoring to help you track your progress.
Go Free Credit offers a free look at your Equifax score and several other resources, including:
- Information about what a credit score means
- An insider look at the materials reviewed by lenders and banks
- Warning signs to watch for in identity theft cases
- Continued credit monitoring
The FICO credit scoring model is widely used by lenders and banking institutions to assess credit risk and provide loans to consumers. In addition to your free score, My FICO provides a Community page and a blog, allowing you to learn more about credit and connect with other users. The site also offers tips to save on mortgages, insurance, credit cards, and more. (Tip: Don’t forget to cancel your membership before the free 10-day trial expires!)
My Free Score Now offers access and monitoring of your three scores. They also provide users with a Learning Center filled with recent articles and credit news.
Powered by Experian, My Free Score provides trial access to your credit report and score, as well as additional credit monitoring (Tip: Be sure to cancel your membership before the end of the trial to avoid unnecessary billing!)
Whatever site you choose, the importance of learning more about your credit scores is invaluable. Familiarize yourself with the financial side of life. You have nothing to lose (and much to gain).