Your credit score can affect your life in so many ways – from your ability to obtain credit to your insurance rates to possibly your ability to get a job. It’s important to know the factors that affect your score. And it’s important to know your credit score. There are 3 credit scoring agencies that companies use when determining if you are a good credit risk – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. You are entitled to get a free credit report from each agency on a yearly basis. You can get that from the Annual Credit Report web site. It’s a good idea to check all 3 agencies. You want to make sure that the information on the report is correct.
The annual credit reports do not give you your credit score; they only show you the accounts and inquiries for your credit. However, there are sites where you can get your credit score for free. These sites are do not charge anything; they are not a trial period service. They try to sell you financial products based on your credit. Some people do not like the sites for that reason. Others do not like them because some of them require you to give your social security number to get your score and they worry about how well these companies will secure that.
Credit Karma – (requires social security number input) This site gives you your TransUnion credit score. They also give you a credit score report card which gives you a letter grade for each aspect of your credit score. That will show you which areas are negatively affecting your score so you can work to improve it. It also has a credit simulator that allows you to make changes to your credit report to see how it affects your credit score.
Credit Sesame – (requires social security number input) This site gives you your Experian credit score. It allows you to set up credit goals and gives advice on those goals. I don’t necessarily agree with the advice that they gave me. I found it a bit misleading saying that I’d save money by switching our 30-year fixed mortgage to a 40-year fixed mortgage with a higher rate. They claimed we’d save money every month because of a lower monthly payment. However, from what I could see, they didn’t factor in that we’d be paying for 10 more years. However, I do like that you get your credit score for free each month.
Quizzle – (does not require a social security number to be input) This site gives you your Experian credit score and credit report. This site has information about your home and what houses in your neighborhood have sold for. It also has information about saving, such as how much you should have in a rainy day fund based on your salary. It will give you a credit score the first time you log in. If you want it updated, you will need to pay a one-time charge each time or sign up for a monthly service ($7/month).