Your credit score is possibly the most important number in your financial profile. A lot of websites offer free credit scores, but Consumer Reports takes a look at the strings attached to some of those sites.
Credit Sesame, Credit.com, Quizzle.com, and Credit Karma are just a few of the many websites that promise a free credit score. But be aware the score you get may not be the same score lenders use to determine your creditworthiness.
“There are hundreds of different ways to score the same credit information. So there’s no guarantee that a lender you approach will use the same score that you got online,” explained Tobie Stanger with Consumer Reports
Many of the sites like Freecreditscore.com and Free Score Online will start charging a monthly fee after a brief trial period. But consumer reports says there’s a program using FICO scores that could help some consumers get more accurate and truly free scores.
“Under the FICO score open access program, a number of big lenders are now providing free fico scores. These free scores are the ones the lender will really use to judge your credit risk,” said Stanger.
Some of the big national lenders who participate are Chase Bank, Citibank, Barclaycard, Discover, and Ally Financial and the list is growing.
“There are limitations to the FICO program,” said Stanger. “You have to be a customer of the lender and you may have to have a certain type of account with them, usually a credit card.”
Keep in mind that your credit score is based on your detailed credit report, and you need to check that regularly, too.
Consumer Reports only recommends one place for you to get that credit report free every year. Click here to request your free copy today.