Do free credit reports affect your score?

Gone are the days when it is mandatory to fork over some cash before you get your credit report. You can actually get a free credit report and it is super-easy to do that.  

Free Credit Reports and Credit Scores

Getting a free credit report is quite different from getting a credit score. As a matter fact, some free credit reports do not include your credit score. For instance, the national law gives you access to a free credit report from each of the three major bureaus, namely: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion but not the credit score.

The free credit report from each of these bureaus can be gotten from annualcreditreport.com. You can get the free credit report online, by calling or mailing Annual Credit Report.

However, if you obtain your free credit report this way, you will not have access to the credit score. You still need to pay a fee to get your credit score. Nonetheless, the free credit report will provide you with a comprehensive overview of your credit activities and history.

A lot of Americans who need their credit scores pay the fee but you don’t really need to pay a fee to get your credit score, you can get it for free. Some platforms like Quizzle, Credit Karma and Credit Sesame allows you to get a free credit report as well as your credit score.

Is Your Credit Score Affected?

When it comes to getting a free credit report, most Americans really want to know if it affects their credit scores. The truth is that it does not.

However, to really understand how it works, you need to know the different types of inquiries that apply to credit report and scores, namely, hard and soft inquiry.

A hard inquiry occurs when you apply for credit. For instance, applying for credit for the purpose of an auto loan, a credit card, mortgage or any other type of credit can be termed a hard inquiry. This involves your lender pulling your credit report and credit card details. It reduces your credit score by some values but the effect could fade in two years.

A soft inquiry occurs when you access the credit report on your own. As you can see, this is the case that applies when you get a free credit report. Usually, you require a free credit report because you want to know your credit history. In most cases, you do this because you want to improve your credit value.

Checking your credit report can affect your credit behavior remarkably. Of course, you will be reluctant to check the credit report if you have to pay a fee. However, with the availability of several platforms offering the opportunity to get a free credit report, you can check your credit report and score as often as possible.

Several platforms allow you to get a free credit report at least once or twice in a year. You can check up to twice in a year with credit.com. With the availability of various platforms, you can use a number of platforms to get a free credit report as many times as possible within a year.

Which free credit report is most accurate?

Credit reports are important, and so are credit scores. With your credit report and scores, you can keep tabs on your credit history. However, there are basically three major bureaus in the United States (namely Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), and each of the bureaus has its version of your credit history and report. Interestingly, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) now makes it possible for every U.S resident to get a free credit report from each of the major bureaus.

Tips to Ensure Accuracy of Your Free Credit Report

Lenders have the option to report to a bureau of their choice. The accuracy of a free credit report from a credit bureau depends on the number of lenders that report to it. Sadly, not all lenders report to all the credit bureaus. This means that your free credit report from each of the bureau may not be accurate.

How do you ensure that you get an accurate free credit report? You need to make sure you obtain a free credit report from each of the credit bureaus and compare. This will help you to observe the discrepancies and therefore get an accurate report and score.

Getting a free credit report from each of the bureaus is easy. In fact, the bureaus made it easier by creating a site that allows Americans to access their reports once per year, the annualcreditreport.com. Furthermore, the annualcreditreport.com allows you to get one free credit report from each of the bureaus.

Other Sources to Get a Free Credit Report

When thinking about getting a free credit report, the first place that should come to your mind is annualcreditreport.com, however, you can get a free credit report from a plethora of other sources. Some of the notable places to get a free credit report include your bank, your state and free websites.

Getting a free credit report from your bank is easy. However, you need to ensure that your bank offers a free credit report. Not all banks offer free credit reports but you can find out by enquiring from your bank. However, a free credit report from your bank may not be very accurate because it is not from all the three major bureaus.

A lot of sites offer free credit report but some of the sites do not really offer the features and benefits they claim to offer. For instance, Quizzle, Credit Sesame, and Credit Karma are legitimate sites that allow you to get a free credit report. But the credit report from each of these sites may not be accurate because each of the sites partners with one or more credit bureau but not all the bureaus.

If you really need an accurate free credit report, you should focus on getting free credit reports from all the three major bureaus. Thankfully, with so many sites offering free credit reports, you can get a handful of free credit reports, each from each of the bureaus or their partners and then compare them to get a comprehensive and accurate report.

What is the free credit report site from the government?

There are many reasons why you need to review your credit reports. Reviewing your credit reports can come handy in detecting identity theft as early as possible in order to take an action. To review your credit report, you need to get a copy of the report regularly. While you can pay for a credit report, it is now easy to get a free credit report from the government.

Why You Should Get a Free Credit Report From The Government

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) passed in 2003 allows every consumer in the United States to get a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com. Scammers are also aware that you can now get a free credit report and as you can expect, they have developed avenues to rip you off.

Of course, not all third party free credit report sites are scam. Some sites actually offer great services but it is better to stick with the government site for your safety. You should also beware of phishing; some unscrupulous folks are all out to trick you into giving out your personal identity number to them.

How to Get Your Free Credit Report From the Government

The three major bureaus which include Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion collectively provide three free credit reports, each from each of the bureaus. In other words, you can get a free credit report from each of the bureaus and a total of three free credit reports from annualcreditreport.com every 12 months or one year.

The free credit report is only available in annualcreditreport.com and cannot be accessed from the bureaus’ website. As a matter of fact, if you click the free credit report option in each of the bureau’s website, you will be redirected to annualcreditreport.com.

Note that annualcreditreport.com is the only government authorized website for free credit report in the United States. It is secure, safe and easy to use. You can get the free credit report online in the website, by calling annualcreditreport.com or by mailing them.

To get a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com, you will be required to provide personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, and social security number. These details are used to verify your identity in order to issue you the free credit report.

Why You Might Consider Other Sources

Annualcreditreport.com only issues three free credit reports to each individual once per year, each of the three free credit reports is from each of the credit bureaus. But sometimes, you may need a free credit report within the year after already getting the reports from annualcreditreport.com.

What do you do when faced with such a situation? You might want to consider other sources for your free credit report. Interestingly, you can get a free credit report from several other sources such as the bank, your state and some free websites. Before exploring free websites, it is best to talk to your bank and find out if they offer a free credit report.

How often free credit report?

Your credit report affects most things you do, from accessing financial deals and getting better terms for cables and internets to your insurance premiums and the effect when you borrow. You need to maintain creditworthiness but to do this; you should keep an eye on your credit report. Several companies now allow you to get a free credit report. With the free credit report, you can keep tabs on your credit history and records as often as possible.

Where to Get Free Credit Report?

There are several places to get a free credit report. However, the first place to think about is the three major credit bureaus. Unlike before, you can now get a free credit report from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.

Each of the three bureaus is required to give you a free credit report per year. You can get the free credit report from annualcreditreport.com, a website created by the three bureaus. You can also get a free credit report from each of the three bureaus directly from their individual websites.

Besides getting a free credit report from the three major bureaus, there are a plethora of other places to get a free credit report. You can get the credit report from your bank, your state, or from free websites like Quizzle, Credit Karma, Credit.com, or Credit Sesame.

Several banks offer a free credit report to their customers. Banks like Citibank, Chase Bank, and many others offer a free credit report. You can check with your bank to find out if they offer a free credit report.

How Many Times Can You Get a Free Credit Report per Year?

While some of the aforementioned services offer only one free credit report per year, some others allow you to get up to two free credit reports per year. For instance, each of the three major bureaus is required to give you one free credit report in a year.

Also, it is important to get a free credit report from each of the bureaus to make sure you have a comprehensive overview of your credit information and history. This is because some lenders who report to a credit bureau may not report to another. Therefore, a free credit report from just one of the bureau may not be very accurate.

Furthermore, banks and the free websites mentioned above also offer a free credit report per year with the exception of credit.com. You can get up to two free credit reports from credit.com.

With the various options for getting a free credit report, it is easier now more than ever to keep an eye on your credit history. This makes it super-easy for you to monitor your credit score and determine whether to improve your credit history or not. It is also important to keep an eye on scammers. Some sites ask for subscription and your credit information before allowing you to get a free credit report; that could be a trap to rip you of your hard earned money.

Do free credit reports include score?

Obtaining a free credit report is now easier than ever. According to the Federal Law, each of the three major credit bureaus including Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are required to issue you one free credit report per year. You can obtain his free credit report from annualcreditreport.com. However, the free credit report offered by annualcreditreport.com does not include your credit score. In other words, if you need your credit score, you may need to pay a fee.

The Difference in Credit Report and Score

Not all lenders report to all the bureaus. For instance, some lenders who report to Equifax may not report to TransUnion or Experian. In other words, the free credit report you obtain from one of the credit bureaus may not contain the comprehensive information of your credit history.

If you really want to get a comprehensive detail of your credit history, you may need to get your free credit report from all the credit bureaus.

Furthermore, the credit score is calculated from your credit history based on some parameters. However, there are different standards for calculating the credit score, the most popular one is the FICO scores developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation that provides scores ranging from 300 to 850. The higher your score the better your credit history. Another interesting credit rating system is the VantageScore developed by all three bureaus. The VantageScore is relatively new but it is growing in popularity.

Getting Your Credit Score with Your Free Credit Report

Even though annualcreditreport.com does not provide the credit score with the free credit report, you can get your credit score alongside your free credit report from some other sources. Third party sites such as Credit Sesame, Credit.com, Credit Karma and even Wallet Hub allows you to get your credit score with your free credit report.

These platforms offer free credit report and credit score in exchange for advertising benefits. They make use of your information to provide you with some other services. For instance, with the information you share with the credit platforms, you will receive offers from their advertising partners for credit cards, loans, and mortgages.

However, some programs offering free scores are not usually free. You need to make sure that the website really offers the features they claim to offer.

You can also obtain a free credit report and score from your current lender or bank. Several banks and lenders now offer credit scores to their customers for free due to some federal pressures. If you are banking with banks like Barclays, Discover Card, JPMorgan Chase, Ally Financial, Bank of America and so forth, you may be able to obtain a free credit report and score.

Several other banks and lenders offer this program. It is always better to contact your bank to find out if they offer the program before looking for an alternative for a free credit report and score. However, if are prepared to fork over some cash for your credit score, you can obtain it directly from FICO or through the credit bureaus.