Credit Counseling

How Do I Get My Credit Score?

Written by Brian James

How do I get my credit score? This question is often asked by people, as there are many benefits in knowing this score. Firstly, from this score you get to know the level of your credit worthiness as perceived by lenders. Based on your credit score and other factors, lenders will decide the level of risk they will be undertaking while lending you money. If your score is poor then the risk is high, and correspondingly the lender will fix a higher rate of interest for you. This will affect all your borrowings right from your mortgage to your credit card, and even your insurance rates. Now, even employers look into your credit score, and a low score can also affect your job prospects.

How is Credit Score Calculated?

All credit bureaus and other websites base their credit score calculations on the technique developed by Fair Isaac and Company (FICO). This has resulted in credit scores also being referred to as FICO scores. Although the basis of calculation is the same, each bureau calls their score by different names. For instance, TransUnion calls their FICO score EMPIRICA, while Equifax calls theirs BEACON. FICO scores have a range usually from 300 to 850, and depending on your score, you are given a grading from very poor to excellent.

The Three Credit Bureaus

How do I get my credit score is quite an important question, when you want to monitor your credit ratings, and set right a poor score, or any errors in the credit report. The three bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the main agencies that gather all data regarding your credit transactions and prepare reports. You can get these reports free, once a year from each of these bureaus. However, these are only credit reports without any scores. These bureaus also provide scores, but they charge a fee of around $8 to $10. Hence, each time you ask for your scores, you will be paying around $30, and if you need your scores, every couple of months it is going to be quite costly.

How do I get My Credit Score Free?

When people need to know their credit score frequently, it is obvious they are trying ways to repair their credit rating, and at such a time, every dollar saved makes a huge difference. Fortunately, there is a way you can get your credit score free, and save a good amount of money. There are many online agencies, which provide these scores free. However, you need to be careful when you select these websites, as many have this offer only for a trial period and will start charging your credit card, once this period is over. These companies take your credit card details in advance when you join their program, and you have the hassle of cancelling the membership when the trial period is over. Hence, before joining any such websites, make sure you read all the terms and conditions, which can be quite lengthy.

How do I get Credit Score Free, without any Trial Offers or Other Hassles?

Fortunately, there are certain websites who really provide free credit scores without any trial period, or asking for your credit card details. Here is a list of the best three websites that not only provide free scores but also give you some additional tips and techniques to improve your score.

CreditKarma: Although this is a site with quite a few ads, you can check your score daily free. Your credit score that is calculated will be based on your credit report from TransUnion; however, you will not be getting any details of your report, except for a few tips suggesting how recent changes in the report have affected your score. They call it a Transrisk score, however, the range is 300 to 850, the same like FICO.

Credit Sesame: This website provides free credit score, and the calculations are based on your credit report from Experian. It will show your score and the change in number of points since the last update. Additionally, this site also offers good tips to increase your score, for qualifying for a mortgage.

Quizzle: This website provides free credit score along with credit report. Calculations are based on your Experian credit report, and additionally you get a summary on your potential for improving the score. The site also provides a free budget planner, and free seven-day trial of their debt management program.

How do I get My Credit Score Free While Applying for a Loan?

The three websites given above are the best for getting credit score free without a trial period or giving your credit card information. However, there are two lending websites, where you can get credit score free by applying as a borrower. This is an indirect method, but if you want a loan as well, it can prove beneficial. However, be prepared to provide your social security number and other personal information.

LendingClub: On this website, you can start the application process of becoming a borrower, and they check your credit rating for finding a rate that they can charge you. They will allot a grade according to calculations based on your TransUnion credit report. This grade can be seen on a table where a FICO score range is allotted to each grade. Here you may not find your exact score, but get a range

Prosper Lending: This site also provides a free grade for people who are thinking of taking a loan. Calculations are based on your Experian credit report, and they do not actually check credit until you finalize the loan application. They also provide good programs for consolidating credit card debts.

How do I get my credit score is quite an easy process through the credit bureaus. However, when you are seeking free alternatives, it is important to read carefully all the terms and conditions before you sign up for the offer. Check the reputation of the website before you provide personal details or credit card information, as there are many cases of identity thefts perpetuated through these free offers.

About the author

Brian James

US Financial specialist with a financial Master degree. Speaking about credit scores range in US, credit cards and more.

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