Top Sources for Free Credit Scores

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Top Sources for Free Credit Scores

What Is a Credit Score?

Your credit score is a critical component of your financial life. It is a score between 300 and 850 that is determined based on a variety of characteristics such as your payment history, credit inquiries, credit utilization, length of credit history, and any new credit you have. 1

Key Takeaways

  • Lenders and others use credit scores to assess an applicant’s creditworthiness.
  • Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion all provide free annual credit reports but no credit scores.
  • Credit monitoring websites can provide you with your credit score for free.
  • Some credit card firms also issue credit ratings to cardholders.

Consider your credit score to be a grade in school. Lenders and other creditors provide information about you to the three credit bureaus, which impacts your credit score. They also use this score to determine whether or not to grant you credit, which determines whether or not you acquire that mortgage or loan. Employers, insurance firms, and landlords are among those who utilize it. The higher your score, the more probable it is that you will be authorized. However, a lower score implies you may be refused or, if granted, you may have to pay more in interest.

This is why it is critical to keep track of your credit score. Knowing your credit score allows you to be more prepared when asking for credit and keeps you on track. But how can you keep track of your progress? This post will offer you the dirt on your score as well as some of the numerous free sites that will tell you your rating.

The Importance of Knowing Your Score

As previously said, you should never go through life without knowing your credit score. This figure is updated on a regular basis. It typically changes every month, although it may vary more often depending on who is reporting. 2

Knowing your score implies you’re more likely to make sound financial choices. With a lower score, you may be more hesitant to apply for new credit since you are more likely to be refused. If you have a high number of queries but few accounts, your credit score may suffer, and lenders may refuse to open a new account for you. On the other side, knowing your credit score is higher makes you a more appealing (and confident) candidate to creditors.

It’s important to remember that checking your credit score is not the same as reviewing your credit report. Your credit report details your financial history, including any accounts you have, how often you’ve paid them on time, any delinquencies, bankruptcy reports, flags and messages, write-offs, and enquiries. The date of any modifications to your credit history is also included in the report. This history may be used to account for and report any inconsistencies. 3

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To begin, go to the three main credit agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, and check your report for free at Each agency allows you to see your report once every 12 months. 4 If you want to keep your credit score, you’ll have to pay them. 5 But why pay when your score is available for free?

Sign up for the following free services to obtain a comprehensive assessment of your credit score from each of the main credit agencies. Furthermore, combining Credit Karma’s or WalletHub’s free TransUnion credit reports with those from can put you in a better position to detect identity theft or other issues in their early stages.

Credit Karma: Best for Scores and Reports

Credit Karma offers free TransUnion and Equifax credit scores and reports that are updated weekly. The nicest part about this service is that you do not need a credit card to register. 6

The VantageScore 3.0 methodology underpins the free TransUnion and Equifax credit scores. This is a newer scoring methodology developed as a result of a partnership by the three main credit bureaus in order to establish a consistent score from one agency to the next. It is also said to be more accurate than regular FICO scores. 7

In addition to the FICO and VantageScore, many creditors, such as insurance firms, employ additional, more specialized credit ratings.

You also receive free credit monitoring for your TransUnion report, a credit factors analysis that summarizes key details from your credit report, and a free credit score simulator that shows you how different actions, such as adding a new credit card or increasing your credit line, may affect your credit score. 68 In addition, Credit Karma provides a free vehicle insurance score. 9

Credit Karma claims it does not sell information to advertising, but it does make financial recommendations based on your credit record. If you sign up for an account, it earns money from one of its advertising partners through its website. 10

Credit Sesame: Best for Personalized Tips

Credit Sesame is a credit monitoring service that differs somewhat from Credit Karma. This one provides users with instant access to their VantageScore from TransUnion. It also offers customised recommendations based on your credit profile and aspirations. Finally, it compiles all of your credit information and provides money-saving recommendations. 11

Credit Sesame also provides methods for lowering payments if you pay more in fees and interest. In addition, the service offers credit monitoring and notifications in the event that your profile or identity is hacked. Credit Sesame also provides free $50,000 in fraud redress support to consumers. 12 This service, like Credit Karma, does not need a credit card to enroll. 13

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Credit Sesame is one of the most effective free credit monitoring programs available. Best for Monthly Updates

By enrolling on, you may obtain two free credit scores and reports: an Experian report and your VantageScore 3.0, which is updated once a month. 14 You must register for a free account, but you will not be needed to provide your credit card information. 15

The website also includes a free credit report card, which demonstrates how the information on your credit report impacts your score and gives suggestions for improving it. 15 claims it does not sell your information to third parties, but it does profit if you apply for offers using advertising links on their website. 16

WalletHub: Best for Credit Alerts

TransUnion credit reports and the TransUnion VantageScore are available via WalletHub. To register, you must enter your personal information as well as the last four digits of your Social Security number (SSN), as well as answer a few questions to authenticate your identification. To finish the registration, the site also asks for your yearly income, monthly spending, and credit card debt. 17

The dashboard displays all of your credit accounts and balances, while the credit alert section provides a letter grade based on the variables that impact your score. For example, the site will alert you if your debt burden is too high in comparison to your income or if your credit usage ratio is too high, which is harming your credit score. 18

Drop-down choices provide further information, such as your credit usage percentage. A simplified version of your credit report displays all of your current and closed accounts, as well as any negative information, such as collection accounts. 18

A navigation bar across the top of the website offers information about financial goods and services such checking accounts and vehicle loans. 18 Some of these firms pay WalletHub to advertise on the site and pay for premium positions. 19

Get Free Credit Scores From Credit Card Companies

Many credit card companies provide their users, and occasionally others, with a free credit score report, so you have alternatives other than those mentioned above. Some of the most notable are mentioned here.

Discover Card

On each monthly statement, Discover Card holders get their free TransUnion FICO credit score. Cardholders who are currently building their credit history may not get a score until they have paid for many months. 20

However, keep in mind that only the principal cardholder will obtain a free credit score. If you’re an authorized user on the card, you won’t get one. 20

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Customers of Barclaycard get a free FICO score on their monthly bills. They may also notice up to two criteria that impact their credit score, such as “balances on a bank card or revolving accounts that are too high relative to credit limitations” (a high credit usage ratio) or the “total of all balances on your open accounts that are too high.” 21

This information may assist you in improving your credit score by modifying your credit use habits. Once you have three months of credit score information, Barclaycard will also give a chart illustrating how your credit score has evolved over time. 21

Capital One Card

Anyone, whether a cardholder or not, may use Capital One’s CreditWise service. You may view yourVantageScore3.0 every month using this service and be notified of any changes. 22

One of the most useful aspects of this service is its simulator, which shows you which circumstances will effect your credit score and general credit health and by how much. 22 You can see, for example, how big of an effect a $1,500 credit card transaction or a $10,000 loan would have on your credit score.

First Bankcard

First National Bank provides its credit card customers with a free FICO Bankcard Score 9, which is a credit card lending-specific score. In other words, it is not the score that a mortgage lender would use to determine if you may borrow money to purchase a property, but it will give you an indication of where you stand. Once a month, your score is updated. 23

The Bottom Line

One of the most essential things you can do for your financial wellness is to know your credit score. Before you apply for a loan, mortgage, or other credit product, this figure will inform you just how creditworthy you are. The better your score, the more probable it is that you will be accepted. And there’s a strong possibility you’ll wind up paying less in interest.

Signing up for the free services indicated above will provide you with a comprehensive snapshot of your credit score from each of the main credit agencies. Furthermore, combining Credit Karma’s or WalletHub’s free TransUnion credit reports with those from can put you in a better position to detect identity theft or other issues in their early stages. If all else fails, you may still get your credit score from any of the credit card businesses mentioned above.

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