You often hear that it is a good idea to check your credit report. Your credit report is a summary of your various credit accounts and loans, and it is important to review this report for several reasons.
First, if your credit report contains errors, it can have a negative impact on your creditworthiness, making it difficult to borrow money when you need it. Your credit report can also alert you to fraudulent activity. If you access your credit report and notice a line of credit that you never opened, it is a red flag.
But as helpful as your credit report may be, there is one piece of information it doesn’t give you – your creditworthiness. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is the reality.
So where can you access your credit history? You have options.
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1. Check your credit card statement
Some credit card companies provide consumer credit scores to account holders. So your score may be available on your monthly statement or elsewhere on your online account. If not, there may be another way to get your score through your credit card issuer. So it’s worth calling and asking.
2. Log into your bank account
Some banks offer customers access to their creditworthiness. Your score may be listed on your bank statements, or you may need to log into your bank account and follow the steps to access that number. If you’re not sure whether your bank offers this benefit or don’t know how to access it, give it a quick call.
3. Use a credit rating service
A simple Google search for “free credit” should take you to services that provide access to your credit history. Sometimes there is a catch. For example, you may need to sign up for a credit monitoring service that starts out for free but charges you after a certain amount of time. Be sure to check the details before entering your credit card number for payment.
4. Buy your score directly
Most of the time, when we talk about credit scores, we mean FICO scores. And you can buy your score directly from FICO for a small fee if you can’t access it for free.
It’s definitely annoying that credit reports don’t include credit scores. However, it is important that you retain access to both pieces of data. Your creditworthiness can give you an idea of ââhow well you are doing for creditworthiness, but it doesn’t give you any indication of whether a fraudulent account has been opened on your behalf. Likewise, your credit report can contain important details about your credit history, but your rating is also important as it tells you if the time is right to apply for a mortgage or other type of loan.
You can access your credit report for free once a year from any of the three major credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. And right now, credit reports are free weekly until April 2022. If you can find a way to get your credit score up for free, you can get a more complete picture of your financial health without spending a dime. But even if you have to spend something, it can be more than worth it.