Sunday, June 4, 2023

How Can You Check Your Credit Score

Why Should I Get A Copy Of My Report

How to Check Your Credit Score for Free!

Getting your credit report can help protect your credit history from mistakes, errors, or signs of identity theft.

Check to be sure the information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date. Consider doing this at least once a year. Be sure to check before you apply for credit, a loan, insurance, or a job. If you find mistakes on your credit report, contact the credit bureaus and the business that supplied the information to get the mistakes removed from your report.

Check to help spot identity theft. Mistakes on your credit report might be a sign of identity theft. Once identity thieves steal your personal information information like, your name, date of birth, address, credit card or bank account, Social Security, or medical insurance account numbers they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, get new credit cards in your name, open a phone, cable, or other utility account in your name, steal your tax refund, use your health insurance to get medical care, or pretend to be you if they are arrested.

Identity theft can damage your credit with unpaid bills and past due accounts. If you think someone might be misusing your personal information, go to to report it and get a personalized recovery plan.

Some Free Credit Score Sites

Many banks and credit card companies now offer their customers a regularly updated snapshot of their credit score for free, though the calculations may vary from company to company. Experian now offers a free FICO credit score on its website.

Even though free consumer credit scores arent FICO scores, theres a good case to be made for reviewing them. They can be great indicators of overall credit health, alert consumers to potential fraud issues, etc., says Thomas Nitzsche, media relations manager at ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions.

Despite the differences, if you want to see the consumer version of your FICO score, the most reputable sites include:

  • Experian CreditWorks

These sites dont require you to provide your credit card to check your score, which means that you can check it as often as you want at no cost. The caveat is, Ive seen these scores be inflated as much as 60 to 70 points higher than the FICO score banks and other lenders will see, says Pamela Capalad, a certified financial planner and advisor in New York City.

And check your wallet for a free look at your credit score. Some credit cards, such as the Discover it Cash Back Credit Card, offer you a free FICO score based on your TransUnion credit report once every month with your statement.

How To Check My Credit Score

Before we dive in, you should know that you actually have several different types of . FICO scores and VantageScores are by far the most common ones and these are further broken down into other versions that are used by separate lending industries. The best way to think of them is as brand names. FICO scores and VantageScores are the Walmarts and Targets of credit scores, if you will.

Checking your credit score often is a smart money move. Doing so wont affect your score at all simply looking at your own credit is whats referred to in terms as a soft inquiry. In contrast, when youre applying for a loan and the lender pulls your credit information, thats called a hard inquiry, and that may affect your score temporarily.

Whats more, it is becoming easier to check your credit score. In some cases, its automatic. In many cases, its free. Sometimes companies will still try to get you to pay for your credit score. Its not a scam per se, but with all the free options out there, were hard pressed to find a legitimate reason youd need to pay anymore.

Here are several ways to check your credit score.

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Check Your Credit Card Statement

If you have a credit card, your credit score may be included in your monthly statements that you barely glance at.

For example, monthly statements for my Chase Freedom card do not include my credit score. However, my credit score is included in each monthly statement for my Discover It credit card.

Discover clearly displays a version of my FICO score, when the score was last updated and how frequently its updated right alongside my basic credit-card account summary. It also plots my credit score on a range from 300 to 850. Discover provides this information automatically and for free. It was not something I had to opt into.

But if your credit score isnt included in your monthly credit-card statements, dont worry. You have plenty of other options.

Check with your credit card provider

Many credit card issuers now provide cardholders with free access to their credit scores. While not every company automatically provides credit scores on their monthly statements like Discover does, several companies will allow you to access your credit score through your online profile associated with your account.

Here are banks and credit card companies that provide free credit scores to cardholders, as well as which type of credit score they offer.

Name of financial institution
Wells Fargo FICO

To access your credit score through one of the companies above, youll need to log into your account either on your financial institutions website or through its smartphone app.

Are There Other Ways I Can Get A Free Report

Neglecting your credit report? Read why you need to check your credit ...

Under federal law, youre entitled to a free credit report if

  • you get a notice saying that your application for credit, employment, insurance, or other benefit has been denied or another unfavorable action has been taken against you, based on information in your credit report. Thats known as an adverse action notice. You must ask for your report within 60 days of getting the notice. The notice will give you the name, address, and phone number of the credit bureau, and you can request your free report from them
  • youre out of work and plan to look for a job within 60 days
  • youre on public assistance, like welfare
  • your report is inaccurate because of identity theft or another fraud
  • you have a fraud alert in your credit file

If you fall into one of these categories, contact a credit bureau by using the below.

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How To Check Credit Score

The easiest method for checking your credit score is requesting one from Equifax. When you apply for your credit report, well need some of your details. These details can include your drivers licence, passport, and Medicare cards. Well require you to complete a 100-point identity check . After all the required documents have been sent and accepted, well process your report and send it to you. After receiving your report, you can read through it and check that everything is accurate according to your records. The report will detail your credit dealings and give you a score from 0 to 1,200. The higher the number on your report, the better your credit rating. You can request your credit score online every three months or within 90 days of having a loan application denied.

Housing Inventory Still Plays A Primary Role Despite Credit Scores

Recent HMDA data confirms a trend of a mortgage market composed of consumers with a solid credit history, as reflected by median and average scores well above both the overall population as well as consumers who dont have a mortgage payment.

In other words, as you may have noticed if you were shopping for a home in the past two years, there is an ample supply of potential borrowers, just not an ample supply of homes. Increasing your credit score over the median scores shown here wont necessarily put you in a better position to buy a home as much as having your bid for a future home accepted by the seller, but it may help you qualify for a loan or secure a more favorable interest rate.

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The purpose of this question submission tool is to provide general education on credit reporting. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team may include it in a future post and may also share responses in its social media outreach. If you have a question, others likely have the same question, too. By sharing your questions and our answers, we can help others as well.


Get the Free Experian app:

Experians Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more.

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What To Look For When You Check Your Credit Scores

Small fluctuations in your credit scores from day to day are normal. Instead of focusing on whether your scores have moved up or down by a few points, pay attention to long-term trends and big changes that occur suddenly.

Long-term trends can help you identify positive habits you want to continue and negative ones you want to modify. Sudden changes that you cant explain based on recent activity, such as multiple late payments in your payment history, could be a sign that youve been a victim of identity theft or fraud. If you notice unusual changes in your scores, its important to find out whats going on and take steps to dispute inaccuracies or file a report for identity theft right away.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your circumstance before acting on it, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a finance professional such as an adviser.

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Why Your Free Credit Scores From Equifax And Transunion May Be Different

You may think that your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores from Equifax and TransUnion should be the same, but thats not always the case.

Remember, VantageScore 3.0 is ultimately just a scoring model. The three-digit number it produces depends largely on the information that lenders report to each credit bureau.

When credit scores that use the same model differ between credit reporting bureaus, its typically because they dont have the same information. Here are a few of the reasons you might see different credit scores.

  • Your scores are from different dates. Different bureaus receive information from lenders at different times. If new information is accounted for in one credit score and not the other, the scores may differ.
  • Your scores are calculated using different credit reports. Its up to lenders to decide which credit bureaus they report your information two. Some report to all three major credit bureaus, while others report to only one or two. If your Equifax credit report has information that your TransUnion report doesnt , your scores may differ.
  • Your credit reports contain incorrect information. Its possible that one or several of your credit reports contain errors. Thats why we recommend regularly checking your credit reports for errors that may affect your scores anddisputing those errors, if need be.

Check Your Credit Reports

Given that you may have three different FICO Scores , its a good idea to check on each. Reviewing your credit report from each agency on an annual basis can help you understand what affects your score and find any mistakes or inaccuracies. Thankfully, checking on your credit may be free and easy. You can claim a free copy of your three credit reports every 12 months from or by calling 877-322-8228. Additional options are available for visually- and hearing-impaired consumers on AnnualCreditReport.coms accessibility page.

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How Do You Fix Something On Your Credit Report

The following steps, according to Nerdwallet, will help you fix any errors on your credit report:

  • Ensure you check all 3 of your credit reports for potential errors
  • There may be small differences among your reports because some creditors dont report your account activity to all three bureaus. Its important to review all three of your credit reports, in case a negative event is recorded on one and not the other.

  • Have all the necessary documentation ready and available
  • Depending on the error, the things you gather to support your case could include:

    • Copies of credit card statements or loan documents
    • Copies of bank statements
    • Copies of birth or death certificates, or a divorce decree
    • If you’ve reported identity theft, include a copy of your FTC complaint or police report.
    • Documentation to provide for your dispute
    • In addition to the above, you’ll need to provide:
    • Proof of identity
    • Your Social Security number and date of birth
    • A copy of government-issued identification
    • Your current address and past addresses going back two years
    • A copy of a utility bill or bank or insurance statement that includes your name and address
  • Dispute errors you have discovered on your credit report
  • The online dispute process is the simplest and fastest way to resolve an error on your credit report. Other ways to dispute these errors are calling or writing a letter. Be sure to check the website of your credit provider to get in touch with them in the best way possible.

    Get Your Full Credit Reports For Free Every Year

    Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Check Your Credit Score

    By law you are entitled to a full credit report from the three major credit bureaus once a year for free. To get your full reports, head on over to the annual credit report site and click the Request your free credit reports button.

    If you want to learn more about credit scores, we have scores of resources for you to learn more:

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    What Can Help Your Credit Score

    Your credit report is a summary of all of your credit history over time. Your credit score is a formula used by bureaus to determine how creditworthy you are.
    Where can you get it? You can get your report with Credit Sesame or with a major credit bureau. You can get your credit score from Credit Sesame or other places such as myFico.
    What kind of information does it show?
    • Name, address, and social security number
    • Types of credit you use
    • Dates of new credit lines
    • Balances & available credit
    • Accounts that are in collections
    • Any recent credit
    • Information related to bankruptcy, tax liens, and court judgements
    • The amount of debt you owe
    • The length of your credit history
    • What your credit mix is made up of
    Who uses which? Your creditor will typically do a hard credit inquiry to see if there is risk to giving you credit. Your utility or phone company will do a soft credit inquiry before making a decision if you have to make a downpayment or not.

    Why Is My Credit Report Important

    Businesses look at your credit report when you apply for:

    • loans from a bank

    If you apply for one of these, the business wants to know if you pay your bills. The business also wants to know if you owe money to someone else. The business uses the information in your credit report to decide whether to give you a loan, a credit card, a job, or insurance.

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    How Do I Know If My Credit Score Is Good Or Bad

    • Under 300: No Credit – If you havent yet opened any credit accounts, you do not have a credit history. This is a clean slate, so start building a good credit score as soon as you can.
    • 300-579: Poor – Having a poor credit score is a result of having a damaged credit history from multiple defaults on different credit products and different lenders.
    • 580-669: Fair – Being in the fair category can result from having a few negative impacts on your credit history, but no major problems. Interest rate options offered may be limited but are still available.
    • 670-739: Good – A good credit score is an average score and will receive competitive interest rates. However, it could be more difficult to qualify for certain types of credit at ideal rates.
    • 740-799: Very good – This is an ideal credit score to have as it represents a lower risk rate to lenders, indicating that you are financially responsible with credit. To get this credit score, make your payments on time and never default on loans.
    • 800-850: Excellent – Being consistently responsible with your repayments and managing your credit leads to an excellent credit score. You may receive lower interest rates on credit cards, loans, or mortgages as you are considered very low risk for defaulting and late payments.

    Where Can I Get My Credit Score

    How to Check Your Credit Score for FREE

    There are a few main ways to get your credit score, including from a credit card or other loan statement, a non-profit counselor, or for a fee from a credit reporting agency.

    You actually have more than one credit score. Credit scores are calculated based on the information in your credit reports. If the information about you in the credit reports of the three large consumer reporting companies is different, your credit score from each of the companies will be different. Lenders also use slightly different credit scores for different types of loans.

    There are four main ways to get a credit score:

    Check your credit card or other loan statement. Many major credit card companies and some auto loan companies have begun to provide credit scores for all their customers on a monthly basis. The score is usually listed on your monthly statement, or can be found by logging in to your account online.

    Talk to a non-profit counselor. Non-profit and HUD-approved housing counselors can often provide you with a free credit report and score and help you review them.

    Buy a score. You can buy a score directly from the credit reporting companies. You can buy your FICO credit score at Other services may also offer scores for purchase. If you decide to purchase a credit score, you are not required to purchase credit protection, identity theft monitoring, or other services that may be offered at the same time.

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