I have written on here before about checking your credit report every four months using annualcreditreport.com. What I have started doing is checking my credit score once a month to make sure there are no surprises coming my way in the short term. Now I am not going to pay for a score that belongs to me, so I had to get creative in to check my score regularly without being charged by the cartel of the credit bureaus. That being said I have come across two easy ways to check your score without being charged.
1. Your Credit Card – I have read that there are a few companies that will provide you with your credit score for free through your online account information. The main one seems to be Washington Mutual. I just so happen to use a personal WAMU card so I went and checked it out and there was a little link that said FICO score. I clicked on it and I could see how my score has been effected over the last 12 months. This updates once a month and pulls the score from Transunion. If you are interested in gettin ga WAMU card you can sign up for the ESPN card here
WARNING!!!! IF YOU CANNOT CONTROL YOUR SPENDING THEN NO CREDIT CARD IS SAFE IN YOUR HANDS AND THIS OPTION SHOULD NOT BE EMPLOYED, DISCUSSED, OR EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT!!!
2. Free Websites – For those who should stay away from credit cards there are three sites that will be of great use. They are:
CreditKarma.com – This site offers your credit score as a free service and tries to sell you other offers on the side. It has been getting the best reviews from newspapers and other publications for helping you improve your score. The only downside is that it only focuses on credit not overall finanaces. This one is free forever with no purchase necessary.
Quizzle.com – I enjoyed this site the most because of all the great tools that it gives you. If you are starting out with budgetting and want to know where you are compared to most Americans then this is a great site. They will also be adding new features in the future. Of the three this one seems to be the most helpful at evaluating and improving your overall financial health. Once again this one is free and you can keep it for as long as you like
Credit.com – This site is the least of the three. It uses and estimator to determine your score instead of actually going and getting the score for you. You will need information from your credit report to get a good estimate. You can get the actual score for free but it is only a 30 day trial. For this reason I didn’t even sign up for the service.
Tomorrow I will discuss why any of this matters and why your credit score and report are a great tool if you need them. Personally my goal is to not need them at all and I will write about that soon too.