1. Get a free credit score online
You can receive free credit scores from online providers like Credit Sesame. All you have to do is sign up for the service, and you'll get a free FICO credit score — along with acess to free credit monitoring.
"We believe complete financial transparency is a consumer right, which is why we worked so hard to bring free credit monitoring to consumers. Your credit score and information on your credit report have a very real impact on your bottom line," says Adrian Nazari, CEO and founder of Credit Sesame.
Free services provide online access to a credit score from at least one of the three major credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax — giving you an accurate picture of your credit status. Just be wary of any provider that asks for credit card information.
Remember, looking into your credit score does not count as a hard inquiry into your credit and is not one of the factors that will affect your score.
More: Get a free credit score and credit monitoring from Credit Sesame, today.
2. Credit scores through credit card issuers
If you have a credit card, you might be in luck. Several card issuers provide credit monitoring or credit scores for cardholders as a perk.
Issuers might include:
- American Express: Free monthly FICO score, the most common type of credit score.
- Barclays: Free FICO scores plus credit monitoring.
- Capital One: Free VantageScore® 3.0 credit score through its CreditWise® monitoring tool.
- Discover: Provides a FICO score with each monthly statement.
- Chase: Provides all cardholders with online access to their FICO score.
If you don't already have access to a rewards credit card, there are tons with no monthly fee and excellent rewards like cash back, or travel points. Access to your credit score is a nice plus.
3. When taking out a loan
If you're one of the many Americans rushing to apply for a mortgage (as rates fall towards all-time lows), you'll receive your credit score as part of the application process.
Applying for personal loans will also net you access to a credit score. If you apply for a loan and your application is denied, the lender is required by law to show you your credit score.
They'll also let you know which of the major credit bureaus provided your credit report. If you're not satisfied with the result, you can get a copy of your credit report at no extra charge.
Remember, you can also request your credit report from any of the major credit bureaus once every 12 months. Credit reports do not include your credit score.
Why you need to know your credit score
It's important to have access to your credit score and your credit history so you can ensure you get the best deal from lenders. Monitoring your credit situation lets you know when you're off track, and you can started on fixing your credit score fast.
Since lenders rely on credit scores to decide on whether to do business with you, keeping tabs on your score will offer you a good idea of your chances of getting a new credit card or other loan approved.
If you don't currently know your credit score, make sure to get your free credit score from Credit Sesame today.