It is easy for you to confuse checking your credit report and your credit score. You can check your credit score by signing up for a service that partners with one or more of the three main credit reporting agencies Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion.
Credit Karma is a leading example of such a free service, with over a hundred million members. Other services may entail either a charge or some other membership obligation, though they may allow you a free trial that you can cancel after checking your credit scores.
Many such services will also give you a different credit score than an inquiring lender will see. Please check the resource section at the end of the book where you’ll find additional services besides CreditKarma.
Credit Karma provides the actual scores from the three credit reporting agencies!
You can easily check your credit reports for free. Every year, you are allowed to receive three free credit reports (one report from each of the reporting agencies). In cases where you think you might have become a victim of identity theft or fraud, you can obtain more free credit reports.
If a company rejects you for a credit decision, then you can also get another free credit report from the reporting agency that the lender used in making their decision.
In order to get your annual free credit reports from all three of the primary credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), you should either call:
1-877-322-8228 or go to AnnualCreditReport.com.
After answering several questions and proving your identity, you will receive the reports either on your computer or smart device (if you applied online) or in the mail (if you called to request them).
You should not pay for your credit reports, neither to check your credit score!