Knowing your credit score in today's economy is crucial. Every credit repair and credit enhancement company knows this and will bombard you with offers about how to obtain your free credit score. Here are the best and cheapest ways to obtain your credit score.
Free Credit Report
The best and cheapest way to obtain your credit score is through annualcreditreport.com. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles you to one free credit report per year from each of the three credit reporting bureaus: Experian, Equifax and Transunion. You can visit the website and fill out the forms, or call its number at 1 (877) 322-8228, where you can request the forms be sent to your home.
This site is the only site authorized to give you the free report under FCRA. You can choose to receive all three scores at once or, for example, receive a score from Experian now and one from Transunion three months later.
Directly from the credit bureaus
Experian, Transunion and Equifax each has its own websites, where it will offer you a free credit report for 30 days. After the 30 days expires, you will be paying a monthly fee for continuous access to your credit scores, including support from credit monitoring experts and online support. Myfico.com also offers a similar package. These deals are best for those looking to keep continuous track of their credit, or for those who have already used their three free credit reports under FCRA.
Promotional offers for credit scores
There are many websites and companies that offer you a free credit report. Except for annualcreditreport.com, these sites usually come with some price tag. Sites such as creditchecktotal.com will offer you a free credit report but will automatically sign you up for the service of around $29.95 per month. For sites like these, you have one month to call and ask to be taken off their billing list. If you don't, you will receive monthly billings. These sites do give you a credit report from the three bureaus approximately every two weeks, oftentimes including access to credit experts. But be aware of the billings and hidden charges.
Paying monthly for scores
There are some situations in which paying monthly will benefit you, like apartment searches. Oftentimes brokers will ask for a fee to do a background check on your credit. If you are there with them, they will waive the fee provided that you pull up your information on one of the various sites like freecreditreport.com or experian.com. These fees can total several hundred dollars. For a flat of $14.95 to $29.95, you can eliminate the extra cost of apartment hunting.
If you are looking into making several large purchases, having an up-to-date copy of your credit report might come in handy, including access to a credit expert.