4 Ways to Check Your Credit Score for Free
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
If you’ve been shelling out some cash to check your credit score, I have bad news: You’re overpaying. The consumer financial landscape used to be covered with deceptive invitations for “free” credit monitoring services that wound up hitting consumers with recurring fees, but the marketplace has become much more transparent. Over the past few years, more companies have started offering free, no-strings-attached credit scores.
Here are four easy ways to learn how you look in the eyes of potential lenders:
1. Count on one of these cards.
If you’re already carrying a credit card, you may already have access to your credit score. For example, Citi has a partnership with Equifax that allows all of the bank’s credit card holders to monitor their FICO scores. If you’re looking to keep your costs low, the Citi Double Cash Card is a great option that doesn’t come with an annual fee. Bank of America also offers customers complimentary access to their credit scores, which are updated on a monthly basis. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is another great no-fee option, and it’s currently offering a sign-up bonus of 20,000 points after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days.
2. Enroll in Chase Credit Journey.
Even if you aren’t a Chase customer, you can still take advantage of the bank’s new Credit Journey offering. Chase launched this new tool in December 2016, and it’s a pretty handy way of reviewing your VantageScore 3.0 credit score from TransUnion. The site updates your score on a weekly basis. The tool’s most valuable component is the ability to see how a range of different scenarios would impact your score. From paying off all your balances in full to missing a payment to canceling a card, the simulator gives you an idea of how your score would change based on a number of what-ifs.
3. Sign up for Capital One’s CreditWise program.
Similar to Chase, Capital One offers everyone — including non-customers — the ability to check their credit scores. The major difference with CreditWise is that it’s also available as a mobile app. So, if you’re looking to check your credit health while you’re on the go, this is a convenient option.
4. See your Credit Scorecard from Discover.
Discover also doesn’t care if you’re one of its customers. Its Credit Scorecard program is available to everyone, giving you a free option to look at your FICO score. The website offers a reassuring message that it’ll “never sell your information” to third parties. While it’s good to know that Discover won’t give your data to anyone else, it seems likely that it — and every other bank getting in on the free credit score game — will use your information to tailor certain offers for other products to your individual needs. So while you’ll get your credit score, there’s also a chance you’ll end up geting plenty of new emails and envelopes with offers for credit cards, auto loans and mortgages.
It’s important to note that all these offerings only give you one score, and your score may vary across the three major credit reporting agencies. For a closer look at your financial picture, I recommend going to annualcreditreport.com to obtain a copy of your complete credit report from each of these agencies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees free access to all three reports once every 12 months.
Interested in learning more about how your credit score is calculated? Check out “5 Lesser-Known Things that Affect Your Credit Score.”
What’s your favorite way to check your credit score for free?
Featured image courtesy of AndreyPopov via Getty Images.
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.