Checking your credit score is a very important thing to do, but there are many ways to do it. Some of the most common methods include going through one of the major credit reporting agencies like Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax, calling up each agency directly, using free softwares that scan for alerts, and looking up your credit in an app designed specifically for checking your credit.
There are even some companies that offer premium services that can check all three major bureaus at once as well as pull your reports. This article will talk about which are the best ways to check your credit score, however, first we must discuss what kind of credit scores you should be concerned with.
What is a credit score?
A credit score is a number used to determine how likely you are to pay back loans. There are several different types of credit scores, but they all measure the same thing-creditworthiness. More expensive loan products such as mortgages and car loans have higher minimum credit requirements than less expensive ones so their lenders use credit scores to determine if you are more or less likely to default on those obligations.
Certain things can affect your credit score, including poor payment histories, bankruptcy, high debt levels, and new credit accounts. The length of time ago doesn’t matter too much unless it has gone beyond a certain threshold-usually six months-after which point it WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR INCLUSION IN YOUR CREDIT SCORE.
Check your credit report
One of the most important steps in checking your credit score is actually looking at your own reports! Your three major credit reporting agencies (CRAs) are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
You can access your own credit report by going to their websites directly or through a third party website that specializes in personal finance.
Some people may be able to get your credit free if you have good credit, but it depends on what types of loans and credit cards you have as well as whether you’re actively paying them off.
By viewing your credit report, you will see all 3 bureaus’ information about you. You can check under each bureau’s headings such as current accounts, delinquent accounts, recent inquiries, etc.
It is very important to not only look at your credit report, but also how yours compares with those of the other 2 bureaus. For example, you might find 1 inaccurate item for another agency, so they’ll omit mentioning it when responding to someone else’s inquiry.
However, there could be some omissions in theirs which would be an error. Or maybe they didn’t list certain things like a large loan that has already paid off.
Get your credit score from a site that compiles credit scores
It is not easy to find out what all of your personal credit information really means, nor are there any clear guidelines as to which credit reports matter most in determining your credit health.
That’s why it can be so hard to know if one tool is better than another for checking your overall credit situation.
Some sites will actually tell you more about yourself than others do, making them arguably worse than nothing at all!
By using only one source to check your credit, you risk being misled or even hurt by inaccurate data.
So how does someone who wants to check their credit make sure they get the best possible info while avoiding misleading numbers or statistics?
Fortunately, we have some smart tips here for you to use. Read on to see our top picks for the best ways to check your credit free online.
Pay to get your credit score
Most major credit reporting agencies offer free access to your credit report summary via their websites. You can also check your individual credit reports for cost, but most of these sites require you to give them a password first so they can access your credit information.
Most people use their own personal computers or devices to go onto a site like this and read their credit report. It is not recommended that you do it this way as someone could potentially look at the same page as you and get a bad perception of you due to how well-connected individuals are with mobile technology.
By using our recommendations below, no one will ever know that you run through all three major bureaus’ websites to check your credit.
Consider getting your credit score through your lender
Recent developments in technology have made it easy to check all three major credit bureaus quickly and easily. Companies like Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax offer free access to one of their credit reports online or by using their mobile apps.
By accessing your own credit report information via an authorized source, you can learn more about yourself and your finances than ever before.
It is important to remember that even if you already know how to use these sites, there are still benefits to having a third-party look at your files. Different lenders may give you different scores because they evaluate your file differently.
For example, some lenders consider late payments more seriously than others. A lender who reviews your file several months after a payment is due could conclude that you will not pay your bills on time, but that you had enough money for other things recently.
Keep an eye on your credit score
It is not difficult to check your own credit score. There are many ways to do it, but you must make sure that you only look at it under authorized circumstances.
Most people begin looking for information about their credit by going onto one of the major credit reporting agencies‘ (CRAs) websites. For example, if they want to see what Bank of America thinks about them, then they would go into their account with BofA and find their credit report.
But before you even access a CRA website, you have to ensure that your current status as a user has adequate permission to view such data.
This means making sure that you are logged in using your username and password, and that you have verified that you are indeed who you say you are. It also means being certain that you have checked both yours and others’ reports recently and are confident that they are up-to-date.
If there is something inaccurate or incomplete about your credit report, you can take action by correcting it.
Check once a year
It is your credit score that matters, not just whether or not you have good credit. Your credit score depends on how long it takes to pull your credit report information, what kind of credit accounts you have, and what type of loans and credit cards you have in place.
There are several ways to check your credit score. Some take longer than one week to get all the info needed, while others can be done quickly.
It is totally okay to check your own credit from time to time to see if there are any mistakes or things that need corrected. In fact, it’s smart!
But remember, don’t spend too much time checking yours- sometimes someone else‘s bad choice will hurt you more than their mistake.
And never assume that your credit is fine when it isn’t. You may find out about fraudulent activity that has been going unnoticed for some time.
Check twice a year
It is not necessary to be every month or even every quarter, but an annual check-up is your best bet. Having an annual credit report review gives you more detailed information than just a quick look at one time frame.
By doing this once a year, you can also get a better picture of how well you are doing with credit as well as see any changes that may have occurred.
Some things to consider while checking your credit include: payment histories, credit limits, types of credit, activity levels, recent inquiries, and whether you think there might be something wrong such as theft or fraud.
It’s important to remember that people access their own credit reports so if you are going to check yours make sure it is done anonymously.
Check every time you apply for credit
It seems like everyone has a good excuse as to why they could not check their own credit score. Some say that because they have no experience with other lenders, thus there is no way that they can compare against others’ scores.
Some claim that they do not know how or it would cost too much to get access to your financial information so they refuse to look.
Whatever reason an individual comes up with, denying themselves access to their personal finance information is a poor decision. In fact, it is very expensive!
By doing this, they are actually paying more money in interest fees. More than just paying for a loan free of charge, having a bad credit rating will cost them extra in monthly service charges and higher interest rates. These additional costs add up quickly!
There is a way to easily check your credit score for free anywhere at any time. You do not need to know anything about credit cards, loans, debt, or savings to do this! All you need is your device and web browser.