Free Credit Score? Not Really!

Matthew Keegan
 


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There is a bit of misunderstanding going around regarding free credit reports: you can get a free credit score too. In reality, this isn’t true. If you go to the three credit reporting agencies, they are required to furnish your credit report to you for free. If you want your credit score, you will have to pay for it. There is a difference, so let’s examine just what they are.

A free credit report is available to you through each of the Big 3 credit reporting bureaus. Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax have been authorized by an act of Congress to supply a copy of your credit report to you once per year. If you order more than one copy from the same company within that year you will pay for that report. In addition, if you want your free credit score, you won’t get one: for free, that is. Instead, expect to pay a separate fee of approximately $4 to $7 per agency to get your credit score. So, it isn’t a free credit score, but it won’t cost you a bundle either.

On the other hand, there are companies marketing free credit scores as part of their package of selling to you copies of your credit reports. In these cases you pay for what is already free and get free what really should cost you money. Are you confused yet? Well, don’t be: essentially you are getting both the credit report and the free credit score as part of the package. In any event, you are likely paying more for the combined service than if you did the work yourself. Again, it is a service so expect to shell out some money if you opt to go the free credit score with credit report route.

For consumers wanting a free credit report, than a visit to AnnualCreditReport.com is in order. Again, in this case your credit report will be free but don’t look for a free credit score. The previously mentioned $4 to $7 fee will be charged to your credit card.

As with so many things, shop around and read the fine print. Remember, companies do provide a service by offering reports and scores to you. For some consumers this is a great way to “remember” to get copies of their reports and scores when someone else is doing the work for them. In any case, make certain that you obtain a copy of your credit report and scores today regardless of whether you choose to do it yourself or have someone do it for you.

Copyright 2006 – For additional information regarding Matt Keegan, The Article Writer , please visit his blog for wit, quips, and freelance writing tips.

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