Free Credit Score: Is It Really Free?
Free Credit Score. In reality, there is actually no one true credit score, (not even the FICO score) even though the FICO score comes closet. This is because your potential lender may be using data from a different credit reporting agency or a modified FICO scoring version or not even use the FICO score at all.
Thus you have to avoid being like most consumers who learn too late that there is no such thing as a truly free credit score. Thus avoid getting enticed by promises of better credit scores and use your credit card for a credit monitoring service.
Sooner or later, you’ll find out that these scores are not better or different from the ones that come free with apps or websites. Then, if you fail to cancel your trial before the trial period runs out, the monthly fees start. If you try to cancel once that starts, is more difficult than before the trial ends.
What is a Credit Score?
A credit score is a three-digit number, which typically ranges from 300 – 850, which is a result of an analysis of your credit file. This is the magic number that intimates lenders of your potential credit risk and ability to repay loans. Credit scores take into account factors, like payment history and length of credit history, from your current and past credit accounts.
Credit score ranges differ depending on the model used (FICO versus VantageScore) and the credit bureau which are (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) which pulls the score. Now, these ratings typically include bad/poor, fair/average, good, and excellent/exceptional. The rating you get depends on the credit score you have.
The following are the different credit score ratings:
Rating Credit Score
Very poor 300-579
Very good 740-799
Difference between a credit score and a credit report
Your credit score is quite different from your credit report. For a credit report, it is a more holistic view of your credit which displays details. Information about your credit activity and current credit situation. Credit report on the other hand, details personal information (name, address, social security number). Credit accounts (payment history, credit limit, account balance), public records (liens, bankruptcies, foreclosures). And inquiries into your credit. The three main credit bureaus who are known to offer reports, are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
Free credit score resources
Most credit card issuers offer free credit score access. Their cardholders make it easier than ever to check and know your score.
Some issuers, like Citi, provide free FICO Scores, while others. Like Chase and Capital One, also offer free VantageScore.
In less than five minutes, you can check your credit score. By logging into your credit card issuer’s site or a free credit score service. And navigating to the credit score section. There will typically be a dashboard listing. Your score as well as the factors that influence it.
FICO and VantageScore pull your credit score. From one of the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
Now here are some of the free credit score resources that you can access. Whether you are a cardholder or not:
- CreditWise from Capital One: Free VantageScore from TransUnion.
- Chase Credit Journey: Free VantageScore from TransUnion.
These resources also offer insight into the main factors. That affect your credit score, simulators on how certain actions may affect your credit, and helpful tips for improving your credit score.