Thursday, May 28, 2009

Get Your Credit Score -- The Best Options

When it's time to work with your credit, what are the best options for getting your credit reports and credit scores?  If you just want your credit report, the only choice is:

This is the site the bureaus were required to set up to allow consumers free online access to their credit reports.  Prior to the FACTA act, bureaus sold online access to the credit reports but would only mail the free copies of a consumer's credit file most states required.  Now, federal law requires free access to credit files.  

CREDIT SCORES -- You Need Them, Here's where to get them:

Recommended:  |  Get 20% off by using the link below |
In all actuality, the credit score is as important as the credit file, and it is highly advisable to get your credit scores at least annually.  While there are several different credit score providers, the most important is the FICO (formerly Fair Isaac & Company) credit score.   The credit bureaus lobbyists were successful in keeping consumers from getting free access to their credit scores, arguing that consumers would be too confused (that's not a joke)!  Low and behold, they later discovered consumers needed to know the scores so badly that they would be willing to pay to get the scores.  So in order to obtain your credit score, you need to pay.

The best option is to buy the FICO score directly from  Each FICO score and credit file is $15 (but you really are paying for the score -- as you can get the credit file for free).  Just pay to get the FICO scores for Equifax and TransUnion once, the subscription services probably aren't worth it.  You can pull your score again when you've seen substantial changes in your credit file.

Experian pulled out of offering a FICO score, in an attempt to promote their own scoring system.  So although mortgage banks will likely use the FICO score from all three bureaus' reports (including Experian), you can't currently pay to find out what the FICO score is for your Experian file!  The score Experian sells at their website probably isn't worth buying unless your Experian credit file is significantly different than your other bureaus' files.  If you are really interested in your Experian score, they do offer a free trial of their credit score monitoring system, which will give you your credit score.  YOU MUST CANCEL WITHIN NINE DAYS or you will be charged.

If anyone has a better deal, please let us know.  

One last parting thought, here is a great spoof commercial by the FTC:

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