A credit score is a numeric figure representing your credit history and comprising of five elements namely, account inquiries, types of credit in use, credit history length, amounts owed, and payment history. Lenders typically use an individual’s credit score to evaluate his or her credit risk so the higher the credit score the lower the individual’s risk to the lender. It is beneficial to know what your credit score looks like so you have an idea of what you can be approved for, how you can improve on it, and the interest rates to expect. Credit score figures will range from 300, which is the lowest, to 850. Any figure above 780 is deemed favorable while numbers below 600 range from average to bad.
It goes without saying that technology has made it much easier to check your credit score now in comparison to how it was a few years ago. You can now check your credit score for free and learn how to calculate it if you are on the path towards credit restoration not to mention it is crucial in establishing healthy finances.
When checking your credit report, you will essentially be searching for any inaccurate information including incorrect bankruptcy or foreclosure reports, incorrect collection notes or late payments, and accounts you did not open. Any problem you find should be reported to a credit report agency immediately. This gives the agency time to review the complaints, conduct necessary investigations, and make the corrections required on your credit report.
Here are some of the best ways for you to check your credit score.
- Mortgage Lenders and Non-Profit Consultants
HUD housing consultants and non-profit credit counselors can help you get your credit reports and your credit scores free of charge. Mortgage lenders are also meant to give you all the credit scores they make use of when deciding whether or not to lend you money.
- Financial Institutions
The FICO Score Open Access Program has made it possible for more than 170 financial institutions to give their customers access to their credit scores. This means that most financial websites, banks, and credit card companies will offer you continuous access to your credit score as long as to keep an active account with them. If this is not convenient enough for you, you can try signing into your lender’s website to find out whether you have access to your credit score. You can also check your monthly statements to find out whether they can offer any insight on your credit scores. Some lenders offer this service so you should definitely find out whether your lender provides the same.
- Online Service Providers
Several online service providers give customers their credit scores for free in exchange for showing you offers from other retailers and lenders. If customers buy something or apply for credit through ads on their websites, they get some payment from the advertiser. This allows them to earn money without charging the customers directly to see their credit scores. Some of these companies can offer customers copies of their credit scores and credit reports and they can assist them in filing a dispute if there are any issues. Using these sites to check your credit score allows you to get the information you want without spending anything and you may even get a better deal suited to your exact requirements.