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If you have ever applied for credit, the question will often come up about your credit or your credit score. Many people are not aware of how to get their credit score, so I am going to share a few ways.
About Your Credit Score
First, while you are able to get a free copy of your credit report annually, that typically does not come with your credit score. Also, you should know that there are three credit reporting agencies and they all report different credit accounts because not all merchants report to all three of them. Lastly, different lenders have different criteria for what is an acceptable score. The type of loan and whether or not it is secured or not all play a factor in the approval process.
Where to Get Your Free Credit Score
Credit Karma. I had seen lots of ads for Credit Karma, so I was surprised to see that they truly offer a free credit score (from both Trans Union and Experian). Additionally, they offer information from your credit report such as all of your accounts and the status (i.e. balances, payments, etc.). It’s a nice way to get a review of your report as well, although it’s not considered an “official” bureau credit repot.
Discover Card. I happen to be a Discover Card user and one of the benefits of Discover is that they provide your FICO score (which – in short – is another name for your credit score) and update it on a monthly basis. If you are a Discover Card holder, you probably already know this, but perhaps it’s a good reason to get that Discover Card you’ve been considering. 🙂
Your Mortgage Lender. If you know someone in the mortgage business, they might be able to do you a favor and retrieve a copy of your credit report. If you are looking to purchase a home or refinance, that gives you the opportunity to ask.
What if You Aren’t Happy With Your Credit Score?
In an earlier post we covered how to interpret your credit score. If you aren’t happy with your score, you can take some action to improve it. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure to pay bills on time. It happens to the best of us, and as long as it’s the rare occasion you should be fine.
- Lower your balances. In general, you want your balances to be less than 30% of your available credit.
- Remove inaccuracies. It’s not uncommon for other peoples items to show up on your credit report, especially if you have a common name or could be confused with a family member.
- If you need professional help, we recommend Blue Sky Credit.
In future posts, I will cover how the credit score breaks down in detail as well as republish our guide to credit repair.
I hope you found this helpful. I’d love to hear how you are doing on your credit journey so feel free to leave a comment below.