Get Your FICO Score Without Breaking The Bank

Money, Matter, and More Musings has a roundup of stratagems for seeing your FICO score without subscribing to costly services. In case you don’t know, a FICO score is a 3-digit number lenders used to determine your credit worthiness. It’s based on your credit report info.

WaMu has a new credit card with built-in free access to your FICO. The site disclaimer warns that getting the first FICO could take up to 90 days, so avoid if you need the score immediately.

TransUnion has a 30-day free trial Credit Monitoring Program with FICO score access. Just cancel before the month is up, otherwise you could be paying $12.95 per month, $155.40 for a year.

You can get your Equifax FICO through myFico’s Score Watch program. It’s a free 30-day trial (you know what to do), $8.95 per month thereafter.

If you’re incapable of setting a calendar reminder to cancel service, try a one-time credit score through AnnualCreditReport.com for $7.95

Hit the link for more options, like if you want to get scores from all three credit bureaus in one fell swoop. — BEN POPKEN

[via Money, Matter, and More Musings]

UPDATE: One reader says that FICO scores are embedded in your credit reports. We’ve used up our free one so we can’t check, but if you haven’t used your free ones at AnnualCreditReport.com, there may be your best bet.

Comments

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  1. PsychicPsycho3 says:

    I thought you were legally allowed one free check per year?

  2. Ben Popken says:

    One free *credit report* check, which doesn’t include your FICO score.

  3. AgentMunroe says:

    I got a CC offer from WaMu not too long ago… are they generally OK to deal with?

  4. AgentMunroe says:

    @AgentMunroe: I’m noticing one of the top stories isn’t exactly spewing praise…

  5. mac-phisto says:

    don’t waste your time picking up a score. the score they show you is most likely not the same one shown to lenders. i pulled my “fico score” at home & then had it pulled at work (i work at a financial institution) same day & the “fico score” was different by ~70 pts.

    also, many lenders don’t even use a fico. they can buy a tailor-made score from each of the bureaus that adjusts the emphasis of specific segments of your score (for example, car lenders may reduce the importance of credit card debt & emphasize any previous auto loan info).

    just make sure your credit file is in order & the score will fall in line.

  6. wezelboy says:

    I have the WAMU card. It was originally a Providian card, but WAMU bought them. I’m glad that they kept the FICO feature, because I’ve found it to be pretty useful.

    I don’t actually use the card, so I couldn’t tell you what dealing with them is like.

  7. Ben Popken says:

    The only times I’ve ever had trouble with WaMu is whenever I’ve called customer service. Otherwise they’re fine.

  8. Mr. Gunn says:

    Read the fine print before signing up with a service from a credit report agency(transunion, experian, equifax). They’ve got language in their terms of service that could be construed to mean that you waive your right to sue them for any inaccuracies. Since threatening to sue is sometimes the only way to get them to honor their obligations under the law, you don’t want to give up that right.

    I’m no lawyer, but the wording looked bad to me. Any change the royal we could get an actual contract lawyer to look at the terms of the truecredit and myfico services and report back?

  9. zolielo says:

    Generally getting a FICO score often will reduce ones score. FYI…

  10. Mr. Gunn says:

    zolielo: That’s not true, and neither will getting your report lower your score.

    More than 2 credit inquiries initiated by a credit-granting entity and occurring within 6 months of each other can cause you to lose ~10-50 points, but self-initiated requests never do.

    There’s only one case in which self-initiated requests could cause your FICO to decrease. If you have so many requests that your file overflows its space in the DB, it will sometimes be split or truncated, leaving you with some entries missing. If you lost some entries that were highly favorable while retaining unfavorable ones, you could conceivably lose FICO. Needless to say, this is a extremely rare occurrence and I’ve never heard of it hurting someone.

  11. zolielo says:

    True which is why I stated in general. The primary problem can occur when inquiries are not reported as self initiated but instead initiated by a firm working as your agent.

    Nevertheless, even mass amounts of queries over a 3 to 6 month period can reduce a score upwards of 10%.

    Not significant but still a reason to which to avoid frivolous checking, in general.

  12. scblackman says:

    Um … you might want to remove the suggestion to apply for a WaMu card after the stories you posted above about how poor their customer service is.

  13. MissPinkKate says:

    I have a Providian CC, and they update my FICO score on their online site once a month.

  14. TPK says:

    “One reader says that FICO scores are embedded in your credit reports.”

    I just got a free report from Equifax last week. I decided to spread them out to one company every 4 months. I looked it over pretty carefully, and printed out the report format. I would certainly like to know where the FICO is “embedded”! Any more details?

  15. yoink says:

    @TPK: The fre Equifax reports don’t include FICO scores or any kind of subjective assessment, they merely show your credit-related activities and the current status of active and inactive accounts within a certain period of time. I found the free Equifax report both helpful and totally uninformative since, at the time I asked for it, I had just been refused some credit but my report showed that everything was ok.

  16. star_ says:

    The FICO score from WAMU is not the same FICO score you’d get from myfico.com.

    WAMU(which bought out Providian) uses the “bankcard enhanced” scoring model rather than the traditional “classic” FICO scoring model. The score can vary greatly from the score you’d receive from myfico.com.

  17. star_ says:

    “True which is why I stated in general. The primary problem can occur when inquiries are not reported as self initiated but instead initiated by a firm working as your agent.

    Nevertheless, even mass amounts of queries over a 3 to 6 month period can reduce a score upwards of 10%.

    Not significant but still a reason to which to avoid frivolous checking, in general.”


    This is wrong. Soft pulls do not hurt your score whatsoever. None of the services that allow you to check your own credit generate hard pulls.

    I pull my credit reports every day through TrueCredit. I’ve done this for over 2 years now. I have never had any of those pulls show up as a hard. In addition, I’ve used all of the other credit pull services and have never had any problems with them either.

    Soft pulls do not affect your score at all. Even if you have thousands of them. In fact, daily soft pulls will eventually “bump” off hard inquiries on Transunion and Equifax (not Experian).

    Out of over a thousand self-initiated soft pulls over a course of 3 years I have never had even 1 report as a hard like you say happens.

    I pay Truecredit $7.46 a month to be able to pull each bureau once a day. They’ve raised their price since I signed up but you can still get it through Walmart @ 11.21/month if you look hard enough for the sign up link.

  18. Doc Benway says:

    Please be careful. There is a major difference between your FICO score and your credit score provided by one of the major 3 credit reporting agencies. Just recently Transunion settled a class action suit relating to selling scores that they represented as your TRUE credit score. FICO is the score companies look at not the score the credit reporting agencies provide.