To find your credit score, try a free online service like Credit Karma or your bank or credit card company. Another way to find your credit score is by paying credit bureaus for a score.
The Ability to Find Your Credit Score is Vital to Your Finances
You need to be able to find your credit score because a credit score is a picture of your creditworthiness. It’s a three digit number banks and credit card companies use to decide whether to approve someone for loans and credit card accounts.
Credit scores also determine whether a consumer pays high interest rates. Consumers with low credit scores pay the highest interest rates. Those with high scores pay low interest rates. That’s another excellent reason you should learn to find your credit score.
A credit score might mean the difference between paying 12% interest on a card and paying 29% interest. That’s a 17% swing in interest rates and that can add up to a ton of extra finance charges. To get the best interest rate possible, consumers need to be able to control their credit scores. The first step in controlling credit scores is knowing them. Below, we’ve listed three easy ways to find your credit score.
For more info on why credit scores are so important, click here to see our article on what makes up a good credit score.
1. Find Your Credit Score at CreditKarma.com
Probably the easiest way to find your credit score is by going to Credit Karma’s website. Credit Karma is a free online service that provides access to credit scores. At Credit Karma, consumers can find their credit scores from two of the three credit reporting bureaus: TransUnion and Equifax. It’s still not possible to find a credit score from Credit Karma for the third reporting bureau, Experian. This shouldn’t matter too much however, since credit scores from all three reporting agencies are pretty much the same.
To find your credit score at Credit Karma, just visit their website and sign up for an account. It’s as easy as filling in an online form with a little personal information. The site does not require any sensitive personal information like credit card numbers or social security numbers to find your credit score. The most private piece of info the site will ask for is the last four digits of the consumer’s social security number.
Once the online form has been filled out, you can find your credit score from Credit Karma any time you like. Since credit scores change frequently, checking back often can give a consumer up to date information, and it’s all for free.
For more information on how to find your credit score from Credit Karma, click here to see our full Credit Karma article.
2. Find Your Credit Score From Your Bank or Credit Card Company
Many banks and credit card companies now let customers find credit scores for free online. To find your credit score from your credit card company or bank, do a quick Google search. Type in the company’s name and the words “free credit score” in the Google search bar, like this:
If your bank provides a way to let you find your credit score through their online banking website, it’ll show up in the google search results like this:
Just click the link to be taken to the company’s free credit score page, then follow the instructions to find your credit score. Capital One’s free credit score tool below not only gives consumers a great, free way to find a credit score, it also comes with a credit simulator. The simulator shows how everyday decisions influence a credit score.
When you find your credit score on a bank or credit card company website, the score often comes from one or more of the credit bureaus but not all three. For example, Capital One’s free credit score tool lets consumers find their TransUnion credit score only. There’s a screen grab of Capital One’s free credit score page below.
3. Find Your Credit Score From a Credit Reporting Bureau
The traditional way to find your credit score is by buying it from the three credit reporting bureaus. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion all sell credit scores to consumers. Before Credit Karma and banks and credit card companies started letting consumers find credit scores for free, buying credit scores was the only way to find them.
Consumers who really want to can still pay for credit scores. To find your credit score directly from a credit bureau’s website, just go to their website. Credit bureaus generally charge between $15.95 and $19.95 for a single-bureau credit score. We’ve listed the three credit bureau websites below:
- To find your credit score from Experian click here.
- To find your TransUnion credit score click here.
- To find your credit score from Equifax click here.
To find your credit score at any of these three credit reporting agencies, just click the link above and then fill out their online form. A credit card is required to pay for the credit score. Since buying a one-time credit score from all three agencies would cost about $55, most consumers choose to find their credit scores with one of the free methods we’ve listed above.
Find Your Credit Score AND Your Credit Report
We explained above why being able to find your credit score is extremely important to your finances. However, credit scores are only part of the solution. Along with the ability to find your credit score, you should also learn to check your credit report.
Credit scores are made from information in consumer credit reports. A credit score will show a picture of a consumer’s creditworthiness, but a credit report will show how it got that way. A credit report is just a list of things like late payments, accounts in collections, bills paid on time and type and number of credit card accounts. Together, all this information is used to create each consumer’s credit score.
Once you’ve learned to find your credit score, the next step is to learn to check your credit report. Regular credit report checks will help a consumer to improve their credit score by teaching them to control the things that can boost their credit score.
For info on how to find your free credit report, click here for our full article.