how do i get my credit report/score?
July 24, 2009 10:50 PM   Subscribe

LearningToBeAnAdultFilter: What is the most accurate, free and legitimate way to get my credit score? I know I'm supposed to be able to get it free once a year, and that there are 3 different reporting agencies.... but.... what do I do? I feel like everyone but me already knows this.
posted by dahliachewswell to Work & Money (11 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's actually pretty hard to find. There's a difference between a credit REPORT, which you can get free for some annoyances, and a credit SCORE.

I used to have a credit card company that kept a graph of my score for me. They since got subsumed by another bank. Now I followed a mefi recommendation and use myfico.com. It's a great service, but not free beyond the 30 day trial.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:00 PM on July 24, 2009


Proceed directly to http://www.annualcreditreport.com/ and you'll be good to go -- once per year from any of the 3 bureaus, and you can stagger them if you like. If you really need a FICO score, get the real deal. It will cost extra -- the best place is MyFICO and be sure to use discount from the last page in this discount thread. Be aware that Experian is now being a total bastard and no longer making YOUR your score with them releasable to YOU anymore; you have to do something like apply for a mortgage to get it. Also make sure your brain equates "freecreditreport" with a big fat warning flag.
posted by crapmatic at 11:02 PM on July 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


There shouldn't be any 'annoyances' with annualcreditreport.com, but you can only get the report once a year.

Some credit cards provide services to get your credit score for a minor monthly fee, I have one that I never bothered to turn off, but I'd also be curious what the best/cheapest/least sketchy service to get monthly or quarterly updates with a score would be too.
posted by delmoi at 11:11 PM on July 24, 2009


but you can only get the report once a year

Let's be perfectly clear.

There are three credit agencies. You are entitled to one credit report per agency per year. So you can get all three at once, once per year; or, you can spread them out and get one every four months.
posted by muddgirl at 11:21 PM on July 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


There's not really an accurate and free way to get your FICO score. You're not entitled to it. You can pay for it through MyFICO. The best you can hope for for free is a close approximation from a place like creditkarma.com, or perhaps get lucky and find some promotion or credit card that may offer you a free FICO score.
posted by floam at 11:48 PM on July 24, 2009


I'm going to second floam on Credit Karma. Although it's definitely not an official score, it's based on your actual credit report, and you get free monthly updates. They also break down why your score is or isn't high (length of credit history, on-time payment percentage, etc.) and give you percentiles against various demographics. At the very least, it should be helpful to see a general trend over time or to see if something big has gone down which requires closer investigation.

Note: While I may sound like a shill, I have no affiliation with Credit Karma. I'm just a satisfied user.
posted by stufflebean at 1:51 AM on July 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Previously
posted by radicarian at 2:42 AM on July 25, 2009


@stufflebean: I am fairly certain Credit Karma is a real score. Note when you click "Update My Score" that it asks permission to retrieve your score from Transunion.

I see crapmatic noting that Experian's more hesitant about giving out the score lately. I believe I found all three of my scores at one point (this was six months ago, and obviously things may be changing significantly this year) through certain websites that are "free" but ask for your credit card # and will start charging you $30/month after 7 days or something similar. You can probably still get your Experian score this way, just make sure to cancel your account as soon as you have your score. Get the score during normal business hours so you can call in and cancel right away--these sorts of places don't usually give you a nice "Cancel your account" button on their website and instead ask you to call in so they can try to talk you out of it.
posted by jgunsch at 5:57 AM on July 25, 2009


I got mine through this link (standard disclaimer, I am not a shill etc). I signed up for the 30 day free trial (giving them my credit card info and everything), went through all the hoops, got my report AND my FICO score, and then cancelled, same day. You have to be sure to cancel, but it's otherwise pretty simple. This was in May and it's the same link as from then.
posted by jessamyn at 6:49 AM on July 25, 2009


@jgunsch: All I meant is that it is not meant to be exactly the same as your FICO score, which is what many people tend to think of as their "official" credit score. You are right that it is based on a Transunion credit report.

Of course, all of this was covered pretty effectively in radicarian's "Previously" link, in which someone mentioned that their CK score was within 30 points of their actual FICO score, for what that's worth.
posted by stufflebean at 10:14 AM on July 25, 2009


THANK YOU, I heartily appreciate all the responses!
posted by dahliachewswell at 9:33 PM on July 27, 2009


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