8 Free Ways to Check Your Credit Score/Report
Why pay for something you can get for free? The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows you to get one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. Who are these three major credit bureaus? TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You can check these reports at annualcreditreport.com
What I personally try to do is obtain a free copy of my credit report three times per year and spread them out once every four months for ex: (April, August, December). This allows me to stay on top of my personal data and information. With the increasing amount of credit fraud, identity theft and credit scams occurring, it is critical to spot these crimes early. Also, this allows you to review your report for accuracy. If there’s any misinformation being reported on your credit you can file a dispute to correct it.
Your credit report can affect a multitude of opportunities. When you apply for a mortgage, auto loan, apartment, cell phone plan, cable service, insurance, credit card or job, companies will check your credit report history. Back in 2012, I got denied for a work from home job because my credit report displayed inaccurate information. I filed a dispute with that specific credit bureau, corrected those errors and got the job once my credit report was fixed. I ended up turning the job down anyway lol but that’s another story.
It is vital that you practice good credit habits and check you report occasionally. A history of good credit will increase your approval odds whenever you apply for loans, jobs, credit cards, mortgages, etc… Additionally, if you want to check up on your credit reports more frequently they have numerous amount of websites that will pull your credit report for free. Credit pulls from these websites are soft inquiries, therefore, will not affect your credit score.
Unfortunately, there is one downside from some of these free credit reporting websites. Some of these sites will also give you a free credit score once a month along with your report, but I want to warn you that your credit/vantage score might not be 100% accurate. It actually can be up to 50 points off depending on the model a creditor or company decides to pull from. Only God knows how many credit scoring models they have out there. Also, these websites are flooded with advertisements suggesting you to apply for different types of loans and lines of credit based off of this questionable credit score.
Do not… I repeat, DO NOT… become so gullible.
Every time a company pulls your credit for an application, a hard inquiry gets put on your credit report and your score lowers several points each time (2 to 5+ points). Hard inquiries become less impactful over time, but it takes up to 2 full years to be fully removed from your credit. So I suggest you try to keep those inquiries to a minimum because your chances of loan/credit line approvals with the lowest rates decreases for people with a bunch of hard inquiries on their credit report.
Here are some free credit reporting websites below:
The first 3 options are from Annual Credit Report
If you know anymore services that offer free credit reports or scores please comment with them below