There aren’t many numbers that hold more importance over a person’s life than their credit score. This underscores the need for you to get a copy of your free credit report at least annually. Most banks, businesses, credit card companies, and lending houses use the 3-digit number to judge creditworthiness and it determines which loans the bearer will have access to, the terms of the loan, and which extra benefits they may be afforded. The good news is it’s easier than ever to get a copy of your free credit report from a number of sources.
The higher your credit score, the better, and a good credit score may save you thousands of dollars when you apply for a loan, insurance, or a credit card. As a result, it is important to constantly monitor your credit score and do what you can to improve it or repair your credit. A credit report allows you to do that and luckily, there are sources that allow people to check their credit reports for free. Here are the best sources for free credit reports:
Please note that there are a couple of agencies that give out credit scores.
Here are the most popular:
a. FICO: ranges from 300 – 850
b.TransUnion: 300 – 850
c.Equifax: 300 – 850
d. Experian: 330 – 830
e.VantageScore (jointly owned by TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian): 501-990 (also graded from A to F)
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles everyone to a free credit report yearly and this report can be gotten from AnnualCreditReport.com. This website is federally-mandated to give out free credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian, three of America’s most prominent consumer reporting agencies.
You can get all 3 reports at once or you may get them at different times.
2. Credit Karma
Credit Karma is one of the biggest sources of free credit reports and they offer users free weekly credit reports along with a VantageScore 3.0 credit score. They also give free income tax (federal and state) preparation and free weekly credit monitoring from TransUnion and Equifax.
Credit Karma also has added features that help protect users from identity theft.
3. CreditWise from Capital One
Credit Wise from Capital One offers all newcomers free credit reports. On signing up, users get a VantageScore 3.0 score, free credit monitoring, and they are alerted—by email—of suspicious activities.
Capital One also offers a credit simulator, letting users check how certain activities affect their credit score. This is particularly useful for scheduling debt payments, knowing when to apply for a loan, etc.
Like many sources mentioned above, Bankrate also provides users with a VantageScore (from TransUnion) and a free credit report (every 3 months).
Unlike others; however, Bankrate helps users rate their chances of pre-qualifying for a new home or getting a mortgage refinancing by using their credit score and the value of their current home.
Credit Card company, Discover, is one of the few resources that gives out free FICO scores. People who own Discover cards get their FICO scores for free with their monthly reports, but even those who don’t can use this resource to check their FICO scores.
It’s impossible to tell which agency’s score a bank or a credit card company to determine your creditworthiness, so you can apply for a free credit report from all the major ones. This has no effect on your credit score and it helps you suss out discrepancies on any of the reports.
In conclusion, stay away from websites that offer free credit reports but ask for credit card information beforehand. It is a commonly-used ploy to charge users for subsequent reports after giving them the first one for free.
This article was originally published on AboutZenLife.com.