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.