If you plan to apply for a credit card, purchase home or car insurance or apply for a car loan, you need to know your credit score in advance. Even when you lease an apartment or apply for certain jobs, your credit score may be accessed by the potential landlord or employer. Even if you do not intend to apply for a lease, a loan or credit card now, you still should stay up to date on your credit score.
The incidence of identity theft has dramatically increased in recent years. Identity thieves operate by first gaining access to a victim’s personal information, such as their name, address and social security number. The identity thief may open a credit account using the individual’s personal data. If the thief has obtained a bank account or credit card number, the thief may use this information to run up the credit account or drain the bank account of funds. Identity theft in any form can substantially affect your credit rating. Keeping track of your credit score is one way you can counter identity theft. Changes to your credit score can indicate that an identity thief has used your information to open new accounts or max out a credit card.
Get Your Credit Score for Free
Many companies will provide you with access to your credit score for free. All three of the major credit tracking companies offer some of the best credit monitoring service plans. Additionally, credit
monitoring services, such as Privacy Guard and Free Credit Score, offer trial periods for their subscription plans. These service give you instant access to your credit score during the trial period. However, you must provide payment information, such as a credit card, to start the trial period. Many trial periods extend for seven or more days. You must cancel the service before the trial period ends or you will be charged the monthly subscription rate.
Credit bureaus offering free trial periods for their credit monitoring plans include
Examples of companies that offer trial periods during which you may access your credit score include:
Companies Offering Free Scores with No Trial Period Required
A few services provide your credit score for free without the requirement of payment information. CreditKarma.com allows you to obtain two types of credit scores based on your TransUnion credit report. Create an account on the site in about two minutes to gain access to your TransRisk and Vantage scores. Credit Sesame also provides a free alerting service that sends you an email when information is added to your TransUnion credit report.
Another company that offers free credit scores with no strings attached is Quizzle.com. Quizzle.com pulls your Experian credit report and provides your credit score based on this data. Though Quizzle offers several resources to help you improve your credit score, the service does not offer as much information about your credit history as the CreditKarma.com service.
Staying informed about your credit standing is essential for keeping your insurance rates low, qualifying for credit cards and loans, and getting the apartment that you want. Take advantage of one of the free credit score options so that you know where you stand in terms of your credit score.