Updated with new sites and screenshots. Here’s how to grab a free credit score without the hassle of annoying trial membership offers, providing credit card numbers, or having to remember to cancel afterward. The government allows you to get a free credit report once every 12 months from AnnualCreditReport.com. But what about tracking your numerical credit score?
There are three major credit bureaus, each with their own information about you: Experian, Equifax, TransUnion. Besides just a score, many offer data taken directly from your credit reports like account balances, credit inquiries, and any negative marks. Some even offer free daily credit monitoring with e-mail alerts.
Credit Sesame offers you a free credit score every month, either based on your Experian or TransUnion credit report (VantageScore). It appears that some older members (like myself) still get the Experian data, but newer members tend to see TransUnion-based data. Range is from 300-850. They also offer free daily credit monitoring, either via e-mail alerts or smartphone app. They make money with ads on the site.
No trial or credit card required. You will need to provide your personal information and Social Security number to some of these companies, naturally, so be comfortable with that. None of these methods by themselves will affect your credit score as you are requesting them for yourself.
And now, for a limited time, Credit Sesame is offering $50,000 in identity theft insurance and access to identity restoration help for FREE.
Quizzle.com offers a free credit score based on your Equifax credit report (VantageScore), updated once every 6 months. They also provide a free, full copy of your Equifax credit score once every six months. No trial or credit card required. The score scale is also 300-850. Quizzle is also ad-supported, they are under the same umbrella as Quicken Loans so don’t be surprised if they offer you a mortgage quote.
CreditKarma.com offers you two free credit scores, based on your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports and updated weekly. Range is 300-850. You can also opt-in to free daily credit monitoring based on your TransUnion data. No trial or credit card required. Credit Karma is ad-supported; I’m usually pitched various credit cards.
LendingTree.com offers a free credit score based on your TransUnion credit report (VantageScore), updated once a month. Range is from 300-850. LendingTree is a mortgage broker, so they will likely try to pitch you a mortgage quote.
Credit.com offers a free credit score based on your Experian credit report (VantageScore), updated once a month. Range is from 300-850. Credit.com is ad-supported; I’m usually pitched various credit cards.
Free Monthly FICO Score
It is often pointed out that the scores above are not FICO scores. No, they are not FICO scores because Fair Isaac charges a lot more money and these companies can’t cover those costs with their advertising. However, these credit scores can still be very useful for tracking general trends in your credit history. Free credit monitoring is also a great way to track any big changes including fraudulent activity. I like getting an e-mail confirming whenever a new account is added to my report.
Discounted One-Time FICO Score
Finally, if you want a discounted FICO score without having to sign up for a new credit card, you’ll need both a credit card and sign up for a trial. This should be saved for cases where you really want your FICO score. You can sign up for a month of ScoreWatch at MyFICO.com for $14.95. You’ll get an instant free Equifax credit report and Equifax FICO credit score. The regular price for a FICO score is $19.95 so you’ll be saving 25%. You must call 1.888.577.5978 to cancel but will be charged each month you renew.