You often hear it said that checking your credit report is a good idea. Your credit report is a summary of your various credit accounts and loans, and reviewing this report is important for several reasons.
First, if your credit report contains errors, your credit score can take a hit, making it difficult to borrow money when you need it. Additionally, your credit report may alert you to fraudulent activity. If you go through your credit report and notice a line of credit you’ve never opened, that’s a red flag.
But as useful as your credit report can be, there is one piece of information it won’t tell you: your credit score. It may sound counterintuitive, but it is the reality.
So where can you access your credit score? You have options.
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1. Check your credit card statement
Some credit card companies make consumer credit scores available to account holders. Thus, your score may be available on your monthly statement or elsewhere in your online account. If not, there might be another way to get your score through your credit card issuer, so it’s worth calling and asking.
2. Log in to your bank account
Some banks offer customers access to their credit scores. You can see your score shown on your statements, or you may need to log into your bank account and follow the steps to access that number there. If you’re not sure if your bank offers this benefit or if you don’t know how to access it, make a quick call.
3. Use a credit score service
A simple Google search for “free credit score” should bring you to services that provide access to your credit score. Sometimes there is a catch. For example, you may need to sign up for a credit monitoring service that starts for free but charges you after a certain time. Pay attention to the details before entering your credit card number for payment.
4. Buy your sheet music directly
Most of the time when we talk about credit scores, we mean FICO ratings. And you can buy your score directly from FICO for a small fee if you don’t have a way to access it for free.
It is really annoying that credit reports do not contain credit scores. But it is important that you maintain access to both data elements. Your credit score can give you an overview of your credit level, but it will not tell you if a fraudulent account has been opened in your name. Likewise, your credit report may contain key details about your credit history, but knowing your score is also important because it tells you if it’s time to apply for a mortgage or some other type of loan.
You can access your credit report for free once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. And right now, credit reports are free every week until April 2022. If you can find a way to get your credit score for free, you’ll have a more complete picture of your financial health without having to spend. one cent. But even if you have to spend a little, it can be worth it.