Many consumers wonder how to check credit score for free, and there are several different ways to access this score. Consumers may use the official website for free credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com. Alternatively, they can join a service that offers a free credit score, or they can contact FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) directly for access to their credit score.
One of the most important things for consumers to keep in mind as they are attempting to check credit score for free is who has created that credit score. The most commonly used credit scores are the ones created by the Fair Isaac Corporation. This independent corporation is actually a statistics and analytics company. They help companies from all kinds of industries including banking, investments, health care, retail, and governmental organizations to determine their business risks and to analyze their profit potential for various maneuvers. They use these same skills while creating consumer credit scores. Essentially, Fair Isaac amasses the details from the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion), and they use these details to create a credit score.
The FICO credit score is used by all kinds of banks and insurance companies to determine a consumer’s credit worthiness. When a consumer decides to get a credit score, they should be assured that they are getting their FICO score. Most of the credit reporting agencies also have ways of scoring consumers. Unfortunately, these scores are not comprehensive, and they are not the scores that most consumers want or need when they are trying to check credit score for free.
According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), each of the three credit reporting agencies has to give every consumer at least one free copy of their credit reports each year. In some states, these agencies are required to give each consumer an additional free report every time a piece of negative information is added to their report. In most cases, the reporting agency sends a letter to the individual’s last known address, and the letter gives the consumer information on how to access their free report. However, if you have not recently received a letter, you may not live in a state that has that reporting requirement or you may not have had any negative information posted to your report. In that case, you can get a free report by visiting the official website at www.annualcreditreport.com. Alternatively, you can contact them toll free at 1-877-322-8228, or you can complete the paper request form and send it to the following address: P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. To find the request form, you should visit the website ftc.gov/credit.
After taking those steps, you will have your credit reports. Unfortunately, you will not have your credit score. However, by using the information found at www.annualcreditreport.com, you can purchase your credit score from any of the three reporting agencies. Although there is a nominal fee to get your credit report through this avenue, it is arguably the easiest way to get your credit score.
The steps described above are the only official ways to get your credit reports for free. However, there are other non-official ways to check credit score for free. If you want to contact the Fair Isaac Corporation directly to see what your score is, you can visit their business’s official webpage at www.fico.com. There, you will see a link to the arm of their company that does consumer credit reports. To reach that section of their company, you can click on the link for www.myfico.com, or you can simply visit www.myfico.com and bypass the www.fico.com main website.
On the MyFICO website, consumers will see several services that they can purchase to check credit score for free. It may seem strange to see the words purchase and free in the same sentence, but here is how it works. When a consumer signs up for the free trial of one of MyFICO’s services, they get free access to their credit score. In order to sign up, they need to provide their credit card details. However, as long as they cancel their service prior to the end of the free trial period, their credit card will not be charged. MyFICO offers a few different types of services, but an example is their Score Watch Service. This service costs about $10 per month, and it includes a free ten days trial period. As long as the consumer cancels their service before the ten day period ends, they are charged nothing. If they opt to stay in the program, they will be charged about $10 per month, and MyFICO will monitor their credit reports for them. MyFICO will keep an eye out for any unusual activity or fraud on their credit reports, and they will send notifications about the problems. This is just one of the many ways to get a free score from MyFICO.
Consumers who do not want to contact FICO directly can sign up for similar plans through other private companies. Most of these companies offer a free credit score when the consumer signs up for a credit monitoring service. To ensure that they are not charged for a service that they do not want, the consumer should make a note on their calendar about when the free trial ends. Then, they can assure that they cancel their services prior to the end of the free trial period. Most services can be canceled online, but other services must be canceled over the phone. If a consumer calls to cancel on the phone, they should be prepared to handle a sales pitch. During the pitch, the sales associate may even try to make the consumer feel guilty about how they got the chance to check credit score for free. The consumer should not feel guilty about how they got to check credit score for free. Instead, they should just politely say no to any additional offers, and they should cancel the service.
It is possible to check credit score for free. However, consumers should be prepared to take a few steps in order to get their score. If a consumer is not willing to take a few steps, they should just visit the annualcreditreport.com and and pay a few dollars to get their score.