The law allows you to get a free copy of your credit report from each of the 3 major credit reporting bureaus once every year. You can go to the Annual Credit Report website to request your credit reports at no charge once each year.
This credit report lists your credit accounts, history, and other factors. It does not tell you your credit score though, and this is something that you really need to know.
In the past you had to pay to see your FICO credit score but this is no longer true. Today there are a number of free options that let you see what your actual FICO credit score is.
Some are completely free without any credit card required while others do require a credit card and are offered as a perk by the credit card company.
Free Credit Score Providers for Credit Card Holders
A number of big banks and financial institutions will let you see your actual FICO score as long as you have their credit card. These include:
Citi Bank- Citi Bank is the latest bank to provide cardholders with their FICO score at no charge. This financial institution uses the credit report from Experian while most others depend on the credit report from TransUnion.
Discover Bank- Discover Bank not only allows you to find out what your credit score is, based on information from your TransUnion credit report, but your FICO score is provided on the monthly statements that you get from the bank every month. On top of your FICO score this bank also offers helpful information on what credit report factors and information had an influence on your FICO score. These factors include length of credit history, payment history, and what is owed on each account listed. This will help you understand why lenders make the decisions that they do when it comes to approving credit that you have applied for. In order to access your credit score when you have a credit card from Discover Bank all you have to do is log into the Discover Account Center.
Barclay Bank- Another bank that gives you access to your FICO score at no cost when you are a cardholder is Barclay Bank. In addition this bank also gives you helpful tips and information for understanding your credit score, plus a chart which shows your score history after you have used the card for at least 3 months. You can also choose to get an email alert whenever your FICO credit score changes when you have one of the credit cards offered by this bank. This allows you to easily monitor your credit score and catch any problems quickly.
Free Credit Score Providers with No Credit Card Required
If signing up for a credit card is not appealing it is still possible to see your credit score at no charge.
One free option that is accurate is Credit Karma, and you do not need to join or give out any credit card information in order to find out what your credit score is. This service gives you a VantageScore that is based on your credit report from TransUnion.
Credit Karma also allows you to monitor your current credit report and also to view any hard inquiries that are on the credit report. This can be helpful if you plan on applying for any credit cards in the near future.
There is no reason not to know your credit score with the many free options available. Whether or not you have a credit card you can find out your FICO score without paying for it.