Testing free credit scores

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,,, 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 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.

One Response

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  1. Michael Hilliard
    Apr 28, 2015 - 05:41 PM

    I wanted to try Credit Karma last year for just quick updates, and to my surprise the credit score they gave me seemed really low. I checked with my current ID guard account, which I knew was up to date, and the scores were much different. It actually looked like the Karma score was very old, maybe 6 to 12 months old. They do not live up to their advertisements! The free score they give you can be very out dated.


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