Your credit is extremely important to your financial prosperity. It enables you to used leveraged money to buy a house, get a credit card, or buy a car. So it is extremely important that you check your credit report often to see where you stand and if there are any discrepancies in the credit reports. There are many ways to get your free credit report. Below, here are several of the ways you can do so.
1) Once a year, the government allows you to get your free credit report. All you have to do is go to www.annualcreditreport.com and enter in your information. But the credit report from there will not give you a credit score—it will only give you a credit report from all three bureaus. So if you want your FICO credit score along with your free report, you will not get it from this method.
2) However, if you want an approximate range of your credit score, then you can get your free credit score at Credit Karma. Credit Karma pulls their information from Transunion. But also keep in mind that the Credit Karma score is only an estimate and not your exact FICO credit score. You should always figure into account a 20 to 30 point margin, give or take. However, Credit Karma will give you your complete credit profile as well as alert you of changes to your credit every time you log in. They also have a credit simulator to see what your credit score wild be if you pay off your debt in different increments. Not bad for a free program huh?
3) All three credit bureaus will give you a free credit report with a credit score if you sign up for a trial of their monthly identity theft protection with them. Their trial will usually cost $1 for the first 7 days, and will give you access to your credit report and credit score. If you do not cancel within 7 days, they will charge you the normal monthly fee; so if you do not intend to keep the monthly membership, be sure to cancel before the 7 days are up.
4) There is another free option to get your credit report; however it would count as a hard inquiry (which can temporarily affect your credit report by a few points for a month or so). This method is to go to a bank and get pre approved for a loan or mortgage. When they research your credit report, they will pull the official scores and you will be able to see it. Understand that this method will count as a hard inquiry on your credit report so make sure you don’t do it often. And also understand, you are under no obligation to sign a loan or mortgage if you are pre-approved.