Having a healthy credit report and strong credit scores help you secure better financing options. The information in your credit report should be accurate. It’s the information on your credit report that determines your credit score.
How to Get Your Free Credit Reports
There is one website federally mandated by the United States government. To access your free credit report from all three credit bureaus, go to AnnualCreditReport.com.
Enter your information and answer the security questions. You’ll then get access to one or all three of your credit reports.
The federal law mandates every US person may receive a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months. These are your complete credit reports. It’s important that you review the information on your credit report annually to ensure accuracy of the information.
Pro Tip: Pull one credit report every 4 months and verify the information . Find a discrepancy? Dispute the information. For example, on January pull your Experian credit report, then on May pull your TransUnion report and on September pull your Equifax report. Repeat the cycle.
How to Get Free Credit Scores
There are many types of credit scores available. The most famous is the FICO credit score. FICO scores are generated by a non-credit bureau company called FICO. They created an algorithm that determines your credit risk through a 3 digit number.
Many lenders use FICO scores but increasingly using other credit scoring methods. To get your FICO credit score, you must pay or subscribe to one of FICO’s credit score offers.
Or you can do the following to get your free credit score:
- Open a free account with apps like Credit Sesame. Although the scores you get is not a FICO score, the scores offered by Credit Sesame is a good representation of where you fall within the credit score range. This is helpful in determining what areas of credit needs improvement.
- Increasingly, many credit card companies and banks/credit unions, are sharing FICO scores to their borrowers or members. Check with your financial institutions and creditors.