5 No BS Ways To Get A Credit Score For Free

Here are 5 ways to get your credit score for free. Note, all of them are the credit scores developed by the credit bureaus themselves, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, and are not your actual FICO scores. Only the FICO score is used by lenders to determine your credit worthiness. However, you can at least use these credit bureau scores to get a general sense of how good your credit is.

  • CreditKarma.com: Gives you your TransUnion score. Advertising-supported.
  • E-Loan: Experian score. Scroll down to “One-Time Credit Snapshots” and “Free Credit Score (Credit Score Only)”
  • Prosper: Experian score. Information on how to do it here.
  • LendingClub: Gives you a letter grade score, which you can use this chart to translate to a numerical score.
  • Washington Mutual Credit Cards: Get your Transunion score when you log in.
  • Another way these are useful is that if you check in periodically and keep track of the results, you can see how your score fluctuates and try to correlate its delta with any credit-related actions you took during that time. But, if you’re shopping for a loan or a mortgage, you will definitely want to pony up the cash and get your real FICO score.

    [via MyMoneyBlog]

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    1. pabster says:

      AFAIK WaMU offers a PFICO on some credit cards. This is an actual FICO score and very accurate.

      Be wary of getting ‘scores’ from anywhere other than MyFico. These other jokers are selling ‘scores’ which can be WILDLY different from your FICO scores. Perhaps they’re fine for watching a trend but they are not accurate or useful if you are house shopping, car shopping, et al. where knowing your actual FICO gives you bargaining power.

    2. Landru says:

      Aren’t consumers entitled by law to a free credit report annually? How does Fair-Issacs get around that?

    3. ross549 says:

      @Landru: Fair-Issacs are providing your credit score, not the reports that make that score. The [annualcreditreport.com] site gets you access to each of the agency’s reports on your credit, and not the score.

    4. Dobernala says:

      @Landru: They’re not a credit reporting agency. They merely look at your credit, run it through an algorithm, and then spit out a number.

    5. Fierock says:

      I’ve never had to pay for my FICO score because the only time I’ve ever needed it is for applying for a mortgage – and mortgage brokers have free access to that (they just aren’t “supposed” to let you see it). As to the free ones you can get from Equifax ot TransUnion they give you an indication if something weird is going on with your credit but are otherwise useless.

    6. @Landru: You’re entitled to a free credit report, not a free credit score.

      I was very pleased with MyFICO’s free trial of Score Watch. Fair Isaac made their product seem a whole let less sketchy then say, Experian’s FreeCreditReport.com by doing things like sending an email a week before I would have been charged.

    7. ???/??? says:

      I work at a credit union, and when you come in and apply for a loan – they’re going to be blunt about what your past credit history is and I’m sure they’ll give you your score.

      Even opening accounts you do checks on previous banking history and I’ll tell you exactly what your other fraudulent activity was at other institutions.

    8. ???/??? says:

      The E-LOANS one is a scam. You’re enrolled in their 9.95 /month program after their free 30 day trial if you don’t cancel. Read the fine print.

    9. ffmariners says:

      @한국어/조선말: I don’t see how that is a scam. It IS a trial, and they tell you before you sign up in normal size font: “When you order your free credit report here you will begin a free trial membership in CreditCheck Monitoring. If you don’t cancel your membership within the 30 day trial period, you will be billed $9.95 a month for each month that you continue your membership. This offer is not related to the free credit report that you are entitled under federal law. To obtain that free credit report, you must go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com. However, that report does not include the alerts that are included with CreditCheck Monitoring.”

      Scam? I think not.

    10. Corydon says:

      @한국어/조선말: Yeah…we went down to set up a savings account, CD, and lower interest credit card at our local Credit Union and they gave us copies of our credit reports including FICO scores as part of the transaction.

      I actually have the WaMu credit card in question. They automatically pull your score from Transunion every month and chart it all out for you so you can see how you’re doing. It will also do an analysis of what you can do to boost your score. Not a bad little perk, although by encouraging you to not carry a balance, they’re kind of shooting themselves in the foot :)

    11. muffinpan says:

      @ffmariners: Scam, ya I think So. Free trial my ass. Just try and cancel and see the run around you get. They are shady. Do you work for them. I think you do.

    12. frankbooth5 says:

      just wasted twenty minutes of my life trying to get my credit score though the EScore link..

      THANKS A LOT!!!

    13. frankbooth5 says:

      I meant the E-LOAN, not eScore. whatever, just don’t waste your time there..

    14. ffmariners says:

      @muffinpan: I work for Pepsi Bottling Group and have been a member here for years… but sure, I work for them. It would be a scam if they didn’t tell you about the auto-sign up for the $9.95/month service.

    15. muffinpan says:

      @ffmariners: Nah it’s a scam. Just like the video professor and the free month supplies of suplements that companies offer. You just can’t cancel and they keep banging your credit card until the attorney general steps in. Then they admit no fault and pay a fine. That’s a scam. So yes it’s scam.

    16. legwork says:

      ffmariners? Serious? Scam is a practical synonym for fraud. Any service with recurring fees that imposes barriers to cancellation by reasonable means qualifies in my book.

      See “AOL retention.”

    17. ffmariners says:

      @muffinpan: Uh, no. The difference is I just scoured through the video professor website and couldn’t find the charge.

      Then, after clicking I wanted to purchase an item, in about size 6 font it says: “If you’re not happy with the lessons, just call to return one CD within 10 days and keep the other 2 CDs FREE* to avoid a purchase charge.”

      SIZE 6 Font… then to see what price they would charge you if you dont return one CD, you have to click a link “†See How It Works”

      They are purposefully deceptive, and I would agree they are a scam.

      E-loans puts it right on the front page.. under the offer… size 12 font… for everyone to see. No scouring around. Right there.

      That is the difference.

    18. creditcardsuck says:

      Most of the websites are scams. If you want an absolutly free credit report go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com. You can get a free report once every 12 months. They may offer some paid services but you don’t need them.

    19. muffinpan says:

      @ffmariner: Nah, a scam is a scam. Until you try to cancel your sevice no more comments from you. Then you will see what I’m talking about. They’ll be no need to apoligize for your misguided support of the comapny I already know what you will face. (I see an AOL type of cancellation call in your future)

    20. wwviper says:

      @한국어/조선말: You’re looking at the credit monitoring section. You need to “Scroll down to ‘One-Time Credit Snapshots’ and ‘Free Credit Score (Credit Score Only)'” to not get enrolled in a trial.

    21. ogremustcrush says:

      Ah, you people. On the eloan page if you go to the bottom link that says Free Credit Score (Credit Score Only) like the instructions say to, there is no trial crap. Just read the original post all the way before signing yourself up for crap. It doesn’t even ask for a credit card, you can put in a student loan account for their verification thing.

    22. Me - now with more humidity says:

      @muffinpan: who pissed in your Cheerios?

    23. SpeakerphoneON says:

      1. The “FICO” score provided by “Transunion” to Washington Mutual cardholders is not your FICO score.
      2. Transunion uses Vantage as its scoring model. This information comes directly from Transunion.
      3. Transunion does not generate a FICO score for every WaMu cardholder each month. This information comes directly from Transunion.
      4. WaMu cardholders are told that the “score” is a “FICO score provided by Transunion”, however no one at Transunion or Fair Isaac customer service (or their supervisors, or their escalation reps) has ever heard of this relationship. Fair Isaac seemed particularly interested that their trademark was being used in this manner.
      5. WaMu has an INTERNAL CREDIT BUREAU that generates scores. This information comes reluctantly from WaMu.

      I found this out when my “FICO” score just dropped 110 points last month. Why? No one can explain it. There were zero events. No inquiries, no late payments, no new accounts. Zip. Zilch. Nada. WaMu blamed Transunion. Transunion had no idea what I was talking about until I sent them a screen cap of my WaMu login. Then they still had no idea, because they don’t use FICO.

      To their credit, Transunion is sending me a free printed copy of my credit report to use in my complaint back to WaMu. And I finally got the department contact at WaMu responsible for my “score”. After five phone calls to three different reps. This “special bureau” only responds to fax inquiries/complaints. The number is 925-225-1198.

    24. eelmonger says:

      I applied for the Wamu card solely for the purpose of getting the free monthly credit score and it works great. I don’t use the card except for the occasional small charge to keep the account active, since it doesn’t offer any rewards or anything.

    25. Is it really worth giving your personal information to companies you don’t know, just to get your credit score? Pay $10 to MyFICO.com and get it from a reliable source.

    26. allstarecho says:

      From the Consumerist: “Note, all of them are the credit scores developed by the credit bureaus themselves, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, and are not your FICO score, which is only sold by the Fair Issac Corporation (you can get your FICO score through myfico.com). Only the FICO score is used by lenders to determine your credit worthiness.”

      That’s totally misleading.

      myfico.com says “FICO scores are the credit scores most lenders use to determine your credit risk. You have three FICO scores, one for each of the three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.”.

      Consumerist says you only have one FICO score and it comes from the Fair Issac Corporation.

      The Fair Issac Corporation says you have three FICO scores, one from each of the credit bureaus.

      So which is it?

    27. bdragonmsl says:

      This might sound weird, but I’ve heard that every time your information is accessed that you loose points for it.

    28. ffmariners says:

      @bdragonmsl: Soft pulls are different from hard pulls. You getting your score does not lower your score! :)

    29. ffmariners says:

      @Me: Seconded.

      I don’t have these types of problems, though, so perhaps I am biased. Its a product of my minimalist life and my ability to read the fine print + communicate effectively, perhaps.

    30. carolyn07 says:

      I just tried Credit Karma and it took all my info down, said it was finding my credit score, and then came up with a blank screen. I think I just provided my info for nothing… Guess I have some “tailored-to-me” offers coming my way. Woohoo.

    31. @bdragonmsl: This might sound weird, but I’ve heard that every time your information is accessed that you loose points for it.

      If you apply for numerous loans/credit cards, that lowers your score temporarily. If you purchase your credit report/score directly the credit bureaus then it does not. As ffmariners said, a soft pull versus a hard pull.

    32. DeafChick says:

      That’s not true about Equifax. Equifax score is your FICO Score.

    33. uchari says:

      this is what happened when I only read in my Greader.., thanks E-loan.. now i have to be able to unsubscribe… next time lets not put it in the list…

    34. Beware: I tried to buy an Equifax credit report this afternoon and after I submitted my payment online, I wasn’t allowed to view it. I called Equifax and spoke with some moron in India (who falsely claimed to be in Atlanta), and she said there was a “server problem.” Right. Now they can’t find my payment info, so I’ll have to do a chargeback when I get my Visa bill.

      What a bunch of fukin losers.

    35. Thank you consumerist, finally I know my credit score!

    36. Nick says:

      What’s with that graph? FICO says scores only go to 850. I just got a mortgage and they sent be a statement with my FICO score on it, and that statement also said they only go to 850.

    37. Nick says:

      @allstarecho: FICO sells a scoring algorithm that credit agencies can use to calculate a score. If all three agencies have exactly the same info on you arranged in exactly the same way, then all three agencies will come up with the same score.

      But some agencies keep stuff on record longer than others, some keep more small details about your credit than others. As a result, each agency can still use the same FICO scoring algorithm, but come up with slightly different scores for you. If you get your score directly from FICO, they use the Experian credit records to calculate the score.

    38. BigBoat says:

      Just used CreditKarma, no hassles at all. Got a score, treated it as a ballpark figure, and appreciated the service.

    39. Bryan says:

      Seriously, when will these sort of posts be flagged as US only, i mean come on.

    40. petitcerise says:

      @ogremustcrush: True, true. So NOT a scam. Although I wouldn’t put much weight CreditXpert Credit score. It just confirmed what I already knew.

    41. winnabago says:

      When I last applied for a mortgage, the broker mentioned that the three scores are averaged to give you a general score to get past the first round of underwriting.

    42. ByeBye says:

      @SpeakerphoneON: Good news to know. i will let my wife know of this.

    43. dragonfire1481 says:

      @Bryan: This site is US based and most posts relate to U.S. companies/business practices. Unless a post specifically refers to a company or business practice relating to another country, you can assume it’s written from an American perspective.

    44. SomeoneGNU says:

      As I understand it…

      Only Isaac calculates FICO, however, there are *THREE* scores only because each credit report has different information. One creditor might report only to Equifax, or maybe all three.

      In an ideal world, there should only be one FICO but because of differences in reporting there will always be three. But generally, they should be in the same range which is why the mean is used.

    45. pivory says:

      I’ve been on hold for 15 minutes calling the number to cancel after receiving my “free” score from Experian. What BS. All they do is pipe in ads for their service over the hold music while you wait and wait and wait to cancel. DON DO IT.

    46. pivory says:

      UPDATE: After 25 minutes on hold trying to cancel – I hung up, and followed the phone tree prompts instead to update my account, instead of cancel it. BOOM! Operator on the first ring, who said she was able to cancel my account. Hmmmmm.

    47. Matsya says:

      Many people seem to confused about FICO credit score.

      Three companies Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax collect your credit information. They can provide you with a credit report, may be even a credit score computed by them, but not real FICO score. Fair Isaac use their own proprietary algorithm to compute FICO score. Some other businesses compute credit scores and sell them. Usually they will try to make you think that they sell real FICO score, but they don’t. There are, by the way, some companies that sell the actual FICO score by obtaining those from Fair Isaac on discount rate. I don’t believe any of the free scores are true FICO scores because Fair Isaac will not provide free scores to others while they are making money selling them.

      There are three FICO scores, one for each credit reporting company, because information they carry are slightly different. One should get the free credit reports annually and check to ensure there is no major faults with credit information.

      Most lenders use FICO. So, that is the score you have to be concerned about. Periodical monitoring of of FICO score gives you an idea about the movement of score depending on activities. (apply for loan: score goes down, keep a low ratio of debt/available-credit: score goes up, etc)

    48. conciseusa says:

      I finally gave up on getting a free report. I ran into problems getting even the free one that does not contain your score.

      Once I forked over $7.95 to Equifax, got my credit report and score trouble free. I did it a couple of months ago and they have not pestered me with all kinds of e-mail offers.

      I love getting things for free, but this looks like one of those areas where you get what you pay for.

    49. SOhp101 says:

      @한국어/조선말: It’s not a scam. Well the one you’re talking about kind of is, but there’s a free credit score option on the very bottom of the page.

    50. richcreamerybutter says:

      I am truly in awe of the collective knowledge here on a subject I can’t fully wrap my head around. It seems being “on the grid” is in itself a full-time job in terms of pursuing the facts.

      So, thank you from a person who would prefer to spend time honing her skills in pretty much any other area of expertise. Hopefully I can reciprocate with random advice from my own CV.

    51. JN2 says:

      Even the Annualcreditreport.com gave me the blank page when I finally jumped through all of their hoops last year. More BS, different name. When I tried accessing again, the message was basically, “We already gave you your free score, now pay us if you want to see it again”.

      fuck ‘em all. I’ve lived w/out using a credit card for 18 months now and don’t intend to start again. I hope anyone who works for any of these asswipe companies dies a slow, painful death. They can all rot in hell.

    52. charliew77 says:

      I was just looking for a way to access my score for free just yesterday. Thanks, Consumerist!

    53. MisterE87 says:

      @speakerphoneon: I had this problem too! I have a credit monitoring service from transunion that i use because i am trying to improve my credit. when i first got my wamu card about a month ago, my score matched transunion’s service. Then I logged in a few nights ago, and suddenly it had plummeted 20 points! Worried, I logged into transunion, and nothing had changed. Not sure what they’re smoking over at WaMu, but their commercials do paint them as the new kids on the block of the banking business… maybe they’re experimenting with pot in their adolescence? lol

      @allstarecho: I was confused by this as well. I thought your FICO was a formula that the credit monitoring agencies leased from the Fair Isaac company, tailored to their individual specifications for interpretation of your credit report. Now there’s ANOTHER score out there that I have to worry about? Why the hell have I been so worried about my score with Experian, TransUnion and Equifax if their scores are supposedly so inaccurate? When is this crap going to be regulated? If we can get copies of our credit reports for free each year, why would we not have access to our credit scores when they are so instrumental in judging our credit worthiness? I’m 21 and may be naive, so is there something I’m missing? I understand Fair Isaac is a business, but is this really the only way they can make money?

      @bdragonmsl: As I understand, since you are the one accessing your report, the inquiry is coded as a “soft” pull rather than a “hard” pull, and it won’t affect your report or score.

      @corporatemaericabites: I work tech support for a national company that does not outsource outside of the US. How do you know she was lying? Because of her accent? Is it that hard to imagine that in America, we could have someone that has an accent? Sheesh.

    54. MisterE87 says:

      Just adding to my previous comment, the reason I ask the question at the end is because I’ve gotten transfers from people that say they’re relieved to hear someone that can actually speak english because the last person was obviously from India, when I know that’s not true. I agree that no matter where you’re from, phone jobs require you to be able to communicate effectively with your customers. I get frustrated when I talk to people in my own company that I can’t understand – but that doesn’t mean they’re overseas. Believe it or not, some people in America are idiotic and hard to understand, too.

    55. Sarcasmo48 says:

      A lot of creditors (auto dealerships/credit unions) often have licenses with one of the so-called “Big Three” to get your credit information. So if you pay for at least one of them, it should give you a decent idea. There’s the FICO, BEACON and Vantage algorithms but so long as the company you’re applying with uses one of Eq/Trans/Ex, you’ll get the gist.

      You can see where the creditor pulled from if you get a 3-in-1 report or something. I use Identityguard through costco. It gives me all three scores and all three reports for 9.49/month, no hassles, ever.

    56. Whtthfgg says:

      if you get the blank page from creditkarma, just reload the page. The info is there….same thing happened to me

    57. blainville says:

      @Matsya: If I understand it correctly, then there are four credit scores from Equifax, Experian, Trans Union and Fair Isaac (FICO). The three credit reporting agencies have their credit databases from reports from creditors. How does Fair Isaac without a credit database calculate your “real” credit score ?

    58. azpat says:

      What type of attorney can be used to help correct false credit score data? I’m never going to deal with another false claim without an attorney. It’s worth the money to avoid the run-around. Is there a specific type of attorney?

      Thinking about it in general – it seems like this would be a hell of a scalable service. Get some attorneys with good understanding of the law and bring them in-house to scale, get some field agents to do the run-around, then fight these battles for people. Same with getting AOL accounts canceled, quitting the gym, etc. Until then, though, I think the attorney is the best way to go.

      So under what heading do I look in the yellow pages?

    59. stanhubrio says:

      Credit Karma has just changed their scoring to a 850-point range to better mirror the credit agencies.

    60. smartwatermelon says:

      CreditKarma.com looked good. The rest wanted me to apply for a loan.

    61. farker says:

      I paid for a Transunion credit score when I did my credit report on annualcreditreport.com last May.

      I believe it’s based on the VantageScore model.

      Score was 838 (on a 501-990 scale), which was rated as a B, and in the 65th percentile.

      Total credit available to me is just under $29,000, but about half of that includes cards on my parents accounts.

    62. Amber Karnes says:

      The E-loan link lands you in the same place as the Credit Karma link. Just so you guys know.

    63. Anonymous says:

      The Washington Mutual (WaMu) scores are being discontinued by Chase (which now owns Washington Mutual). Effective March 2009, they will not be available.

    64. Ann-Marie says:

      Don’t forget Quizzle.com! You can get your free Experian credit report and score every six months, no catches. Quizzle also has some other cool tools like a home value estimator, a budget tool, personalized mortgage recommendations and more.