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How to Check Your Credit Scores and Reports

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One of the key factors that your lender will be evaluating when you apply for a home loan is your creditworthiness. To get ready for home purchase, you should check your credit scores and reports (there are three different credit bureaus). In this article, I will show you how to check your reports and scores for free.

credit score and credit report

Check Your Credit Scores for Free

Many websites offer credit scores, but the majority of them charge you money or enroll you into a monthly subscription — and you don’t want to spend money when you can get it for free. Over the years, I have found these sites to be the best sources for checking your credit scores.

Score Notes
Equifax FREE from Credit Karma
Experian FREE from Credit.com
TransUnion FREE from Credit Karma and Credit Sesame
FICO® Score
  • There is currently no option for a free FICO® score. You can get your score directly from myFICO for $15.96, or use their Free Credit Scores Estimator Tool.
  • You can get a free FICO® Score from some financial institutions, e.g., as a Wells Fargo customer or a Citi® credit cardmember.

Get Your Score from the Lender

When you apply for a loan pre-approval, the lender will pull your credit scores (usually from all three credit reporting agencies). Again, you can request this information and see your credit ratings.

Check Your Credit Reports for Free

Your scores are just numerical representation of your creditworthiness. To get the details and see all the accounts that contribute to your final score, you need to review your credit reports. The best place to get your reports is through AnnualCreditReport.com.

Usually, you can get one free full credit report from each of the three major reporting agencies (i.e., TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) once a year. However, they are currently offering free weekly reports for all three bureaus through April 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I check my credit score without affecting it?

Free Credit Score from Credit Karma and Credit Sesame are considered soft pulls. Soft pulls don’t lower your credit score, so you are safe to review your credit score through these two sites at any time.

Why can’t I get my credit scores from AnnualCreditReport.com?

While AnnualCreditReport.com is excellent for getting your free credit reports, you CANNOT get free credit scores from them. If you do want to get credit scores from them, you with have to pay a nominal fee.

Should I check my credit score?

Absolutely. It is a best practice to check your credit scores regularly. Some services will also provide you with free alerts and send you an email whenever there is a change in your credit. I recommend that you check your scores at least once a month, and your reports every four months.

What credit scores will I get with these services?

Each agency provides its own version of a credit score. Read carefully about each service and the score(s) they provide. In my experience, these free resources are equally good; I found negligible differences among them.

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