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How to Get Free Credit Scores Online

Your credit score is important for many different reasons. Not only will a good credit score enable you to acquire loans and credit cards more easily, but it will also qualify you for better interest rates on the money you borrow. It's a good idea to routinely check your credit score and take steps to maintain the best score possible. Keeping an eye on your credit score is also a great way to monitor your accounts for fraud and identity theft, which are problems that are unfortunately becoming more widespread each year.

Most consumers do not check their credit scores nearly as often as they should. We recommend that people obtain their official credit scores from all three credit bureaus at least once a year. If you are planning to get a substantial loan in the coming year, it may be a good idea to check your credit score more often, such as every other month.

You will have access to the most comprehensive information about your credit if you sign up for a credit monitoring service such as the one available from Equifax. By signing up for such a service, you have the added benefit of being notified if there suspicious activity in any of your accounts. With that said, such services typically cost around $10 – $15 a month. This may not seem like much, but over the course of a year, you would end up paying $120 – $180. This is far too expensive if all you want to do is get a general idea of what your credit score is from time to time.

A better option for most people is to take advantage of one the many sites that allow you to obtain your credit score for free. Unfortunately, some sites that claim to give you a free score will use sneaky tactics to convert you into a monthly subscriber of a paid credit monitoring service. Be wary of any sites that ask for your credit card information before you can view your credit score.

Here are a few free sites we recommend for checking your credit score:

  1. Annualcreditreport.com
    By law, all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) are required to give you one free credit report per year. The quickest and easiest way to obtain your reports from all three organizations is by using the website, annualcreditreport.com. This is the official site for obtaining the reports you are legally entitled to get each year.

  2. Credit Karma
    Credit Karma is a privately run website that allows you to obtain your credit score at any time for free. The score provided by Credit Karma is from TransUnion, which is only one of the three major national credit bureaus. Ideally, you want to get your score from all three bureaus, but if you just want a quick idea of what your score is, Credit Karma is a great site to use for this purpose.

  3. Credit Sesame
    An alternative to Credit Karma, Credit Sesame likewise provides you with a free credit score. The credit score provided by Credit Sesame is from Experian. This site is easy to use and can provide you with your score in a matter of minutes.

  4. Equifax Score Card
    This site, offered by Equifax, does not provide your exact credit score but instead shows you a range where your credit rating falls (see below). This is still helpful, but since the ranges provided are somewhat large, you'll have to use a different site if you want a more precise number.
    equifax score card

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