The Best Way to Get My Credit Score
by Contributing Writer
You can get your credit score directly from one of the three consumer reporting agencies or from AnnualCreditReport.com when you request your credit report. Unlike your free annual credit report, you'll have to pay a small fee to get your credit score. Knowing your credit score is important because this score impacts whether or not you can get a loan and how much interest you will pay.
Credit Score Versus Credit Report
Your credit report is a listing of all the loans and credit cards you have now and have had in the past. It shows how much money you owe, your payment history and how much open credit you have. Your credit score is a numerical score that is based upon your credit report. Your credit score will be a number between 300 and 850. The higher your credit score, the better you're doing with your credit. Your credit report is available to you for free once a year, but your credit score is something you must pay a fee to access.
Ordering Your Credit Score
Your credit score is available at any of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. You can order it online, by phone or by mail. If you choose to order it online, you'll get instant access, but if you order by phone or mail, it may take up to 15 days to receive your score. It will cost the same no matter which ordering method you use.
To request your credit score, you'll need to provide your Social Security number, current and previous address, and other information only you're likely to know. This is to protect you from other people being able to access your credit information.
Best Way to Order Your Credit Score
If you don't want to pay a monthly fee for additional services like identity theft monitoring or credit report analysis, you should order your credit score from AnnualCreditReport.com. It costs $7.95 and is a one-time fee.
Contact the three major credit reporting agencies at the numbers and sites listed here:
Reasons to Order Your Credit Score
Whenever you apply for credit (e.g., a car loan, student loan, home loan or credit card), your credit score will be checked. It will also be used when you get auto insurance. If your score is good, you'll pay lower interest rates and lower car insurance fees as well. If your score's too low, you might be denied a loan.
Knowing your credit score before you try to get a loan or apply for new insurance will give you time to improve your score if necessary. It can also give you peace of mind knowing you have a good credit score and will likely not have any trouble getting the loan.