Everyone is entitled to see their free annual credit report once an year from the government. That’s a given. Their free credit reports from all 3 bureaus. But what’s left out of this ‘free annual credit report gov’ equation is your credit SCORE. Problem is, your credit score is in many sense the most important information you want to see concerning your credit. It determines whether you get approved for unsecured credit cards, mortgage loans, auto loans, personal loans, etc. It also determines your mortgage interest rates. So yes, getting your free credit reports from all 3 bureaus is an important start, but ultimately it’s just the raw data or “exam questions” that’s used to determine your “final grade” or SCORE so to speak. Currently you do NOT receive your 3 scores for free from the government. You have to go to each credit bureau, fill out their lengthy app form, and pay full price to see them. Or, you can try out one of these free 3 credit score trial offers (usually offered by credit monitoring or identity theft prevention services). What’s more, they can conveniently provide your 3 bureau credit reports for virtually free without all of the hassles mentioned earlier (usually just a $1 processing & handlimg fee).
|Free Credit Score Comparison Chart|
|Name||Ratings||Credit Scores You’ll Receive||Credit Bureaus Monitored||Trial Period||Other Benefits|
|Single Credit Score||Single Credit Bureau||$0 Indefinitively||Free Credit Score. No Credit Card Required. Free Credit Monitoring.|
|Single Credit Score||Experian
|7-Day||Free Credit Score. 3 Bureau Credit Monitoring.|
|Single Credit Score||Experian
|7-Day||Free TransUnion Credit Scores. 3 Bureau Monitoring|
|Single Credit Score||Experian
|7-Day||Free Credit Score. 3 Bureau Monitoring|
Free Annual Credit Report vs Free Credit Score Offers
As mentioned earlier, one of the big attractions of free credit score trial offers is that you often get to see both your scores AND your credit files for free or virtually free ($1 fee) during the trial period. They often have these $1 deals where they’ll obtain your 3 credit reports as well. (Ok, well, it’s not technically free, but I think it’s well worth the $1 fee since you won’t have to jump thru hoops and go thru the lengthy & convoluted application process like they put you thru at annual credit report ;). You do have unique cases from time to time where you can obtain your score for free indefinitely.
So why do these trial offers exist?
Simply put? So you can try out their services (credit monitoring/identity theft prevention). After the free trial period, many individuals will continue with the paid membership because they’ve experienced and liked the benefits of the service. Others will ofcourse simply cancel the service during the free trial period. But they get to see their credit scores for free. And as mentioned earlier, there are special cases (such as credit sesame) where the scores can be obtained for free indefinitely with no trial limits.
So what’s the best trial offer?
The simple rule of thumb is to find the offer that provides the most information about your credit rating. Some offers provide your free credit score from one credit bureau while others will provide credit reports and scores from all 3 major credit bureaus. Others will sign up for trial offers which provide the longest free trial period. It really varies from individual to individual. The comparison chart and our reviews should help you to decide.
WINNER: Credit Sesame – Totally Free Credit Score & No Credit Card Required
You just can’t beat what this offer provides. No trial period since it’s indefinitely free. You can access a free monthly credit score, and there’s no requirement for a credit card as well since it’s free indefinitely. So what’s the catch? There is none if you’re the consumer. Long story short, Credit Sesame gets paid by the banks. Not by the consumer like with the other free score trial offers that are promoted by credit monitoring or identity theft protection services. Credit Sesame even offers free credit monitoring as well, so there’s no need for any paid memberships down the line. Pretty unbeatable. (more details…)
RUNNER UP: YourScoreandMore – Your Free Credit Score & 3 Bureau Monitoring
This service provides free access to a credit score very quickly and conveniently. It’s become one of the most popular method for accessing one’s free credit score as well as experiencing 3 bureau monitoring for Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion for identity theft protection and peace of mind. (more details…)
MyFreeScoreNow — Free 2015 Credit Score
The new kid on the block. Features include Instant Score from one of the credit bureaus. A personalized report of factors affecting your current credit score. Email alerts of significant changes to your credit report. An updated credit score each month. Notice of who is looking at your credit. Worth checking out. (more details…)
FreeScoreConnect – Free Credit Score in Seconds
Sign up easily to receive a free credit score. Just answer a few short questions. FreeScoreConnect provides you with the tools you need to access and monitor your financial profile through the program’s credit reporting and monthly monitoring benefits. (more details…)
Seeing your free credit reports from all 3 bureaus is important because it gives you details of your credit profile – your free annual credit report. But you also need to see your credit score since that’s ultimately the grade you’re getting from all that data. Once again, the 3 credit reports you get from the govt will NOT include your scores. You need to obtain them separately by ordering them directly from the 3 bureaus or via these free trial offers. Most of these sites have learning resources and tips for helping you to raise your credit score. By understanding how to raise a score and what can lower the score, a person can make conscious decisions to better his or credit to achieve the interest rates that are desired. The free credit score seems like a no brainer, but you need to realize that the majority of them are trial memberships. You do need to cancel the membership before the free trial ends if you choose not to continue with it.
|*TIP: For those who’re interested in a fullblown identity theft protection service.|