Now that you know checking your credit scores and credit reports won’t count against you, let’s talk about how to take a look at your scores. The good news is, you have multiple ways to check your credit score online.
Option #1: Purchase Your Credit Scores From FICO or the Credit Bureaus
The first possibility for checking your credit scores is to buy them directly from FICO or one of the credit bureaus.
Usually, you get more than just a credit score with this option. For example, you might also get a copy of your credit report or access to ongoing credit monitoring. Remember, however, that you can get your credit score from each of the 3 credit bureaus for free once per year through AnnualCreditReport.com.
If you’re interested in buying your credit scores, here’s where you can get them:
- MyFICO: Choose between a one-time credit report and FICO Score or an ongoing monthly subscription, with prices starting at $19.95.
- Equifax Score Watch: Get your FICO Score and Equifax credit report 4 times a year for $14.95 per month.
- Experian: Get your FICO Scores and credit reports from all 3 bureaus for a one-time fee of $39.99.
- TransUnion: Get unlimited credit score tracking and credit reporting for $24.95 per month.
If you need more than just a credit score and report, you might consider the next option on the list.
Option #2: Check Your Credit Scores With Credit Monitoring
Credit monitoring services can offer ongoing credit score tracking and monitoring. Specifically, these services track changes to your credit report that might affect your credit scores. That can include things like:
- New hard inquiries
- Paid tradelines
- New accounts opened
- Late or missed payments
- Collection actions
That’s helpful, especially if you’re worried about identity theft or fraud. A credit monitoring service could alert you right away if a new credit account is opened in your name that you didn’t authorize.
But there’s a catch. Credit monitoring services don’t always furnish FICO Scores. They may offer VantageScores instead.
VantageScores are an alternative scoring model that are used by a growing number of lenders. But they aren’t as widely accepted as FICO Scores. So if you’re interested in getting your FICO Score, a credit monitoring service may not be much help.
Option #3: Check Your Credit Scores for Free
If you’re on a budget, there’s good news. It’s possible that you could check your credit scores for free if you have a credit card.
A number of top credit card issuers offer free FICO Scores monthly to cardmembers. Discover also offers free FICO Scores even if you don’t have a Discover credit card.
If you’re wondering how to find your free credit score, you can check your monthly statement or log in to your online account. They should be listed on either one if your card issuer offers free FICO Scores.
And here’s one more way to get free credit scores: sign up for a free account with Experian.
Experian offers a free credit report and FICO Score, no credit card required. Although, you may be asked if you want to upgrade your membership for a fee each time you log in.