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Where to Check Credit Scores Online

where to check credit scores

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Credit Sesame explains where to check credit scores online.

Did you know that actively managing your credit score can drive it higher?You can’t manage your credit score effectively unless you monitor it. Do you know where to check credit scores?

Monitoring your score lets you know how you’re getting on maintaining boosting it. You can see immediately when it falls, so you can address whatever behavior caused the drop. When it rises, you know to carry on with whatever you’re getting right.

All about credit scores

  1. What is a credit score?
  2. Why are credit scores so important?
  3. Where to check your credit score
  4. Get a free credit score report with Credit Sesame

What is a credit score?

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “A credit score is a number that represents a rating of how likely you are to repay a loan and make the payments on time.”

That three-digit score can be anything between 300 and 850. If you want to benefit from your score, you want it to be as high as possible.

The FTC continues: “Lenders calculate your credit score using information in your credit report, like your history of repaying money you borrowed, the types of loans you’ve had, how long you have had a particular line of credit or loan, and how much total debt you owe.”

In other words, your score is wholly based on how well you’ve managed your borrowing in the past. Lenders reckon that’s the best indicator of how likely you are to manage the loan or credit card you’re currently applying for.

What is a good credit score?

A good credit score is the best one you personally can attain. The higher that score, the better.

The two big companies that build credit scoring technologies provide their own definitions. FICO says a good score is one between 670 and 739. VantageScore reckons it’s one between 661 and 780.

Beware of giving up active score management when you have attained a good score. That’s the time to aim for a very good (740-799 for FICO) or excellent (800+ for FICO; 781+ for VantageScore) score. The higher you drive your score, the bigger the savings you stand to make on interest rates.

Why are credit scores so important?

Having a high score gives you more than just bragging rights. Your future borrowing is likely to be less costly.

Indeed, when Forbes ran the numbers, it found someone with excellent credit could easily save $56,400 across several loans compared to someone with a fair score. That was in 2020. According to the Federal Reserve, consumer borrowing has shot up since then. So, those average savings are probably higher now.

But those aren’t the only savings a great credit score can bring. You could pay less for:

  1. Your homeowners’ and auto insurance annual premiums
  2. The security deposit your landlord requires

Scarily, some employers check applicants’ credit when recruiting. True, they’re no longer allowed to access your score. But they can look at your credit report, which is a more long-winded version of the same thing.

Meanwhile, with a high score, you’re much more likely to be approved for any loan you want, providing you can afford it.

Where to check credit scores

Many credit card companies and auto lenders include your score on your paper or online monthly statement. Those are good places to start when you want to check your credit score. But there are other options.

That statement score may be enough sometimes. However, a monthly check is probably insufficient when you’re either actively trying to boost your score or are planning to apply for a major loan. Then, you might want to track your score daily.

Why you probably have lots of credit scores

Don’t be surprised if different sources give you a different score. Many consumers have a dozen or more credit scores, each of which is “correct.” That’s because a particular score might be generated using:

  1. FICO or VantageScore scoring technologies. They weigh different activities differently and spit out different scores
  2. A FICO or VantageScore legacy system. Some lenders use one of several older versions, which each creates different scores
  3. Data from one or two of the Big 3 credit bureaus. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion each maintain consumer credit reports. But some creditors report activities to only one or two of them. So each credit bureau probably has a different score for you
  4. Industry-specific credit scoring systems. FICO has built some of these for particular classes of lenders. And they bias your score to criteria that, say, auto lenders or card issuers have found especially relevant to their needs. So those lenders may access custom scores that are different from the ones everyone else sees

Don’t obsess too much over the differences between your scores. More important is that all react in the same way to good and bad borrowing behavior. So, if the score you’re monitoring goes up or down, all your other ones will likely do so, too — no matter where you check credit scores.

How to check your credit score without hurting it

You may want to know how to check your credit score without hurting it. Checking your own credit score through a service doesn’t affect it.

These are “soft” inquiries in the industry jargon, which do not impact your score. “Hard” inquiries, which do hurt your score a little, happen only when a lender checks your score to decide whether to approve an application for new credit from you.

Where to check credit scores online

There are paid and free credit score services of varying quality. Federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) warns about supposedly free services that end up charging you after a trial period. It says, “Before you sign up to try one of these services, be sure you know what you are signing up for and how much it really costs.” It is wise to be wary if you’re asked for your credit card details.

Check your scores:

  • Your FICO Score, from FICO
    • Pro: Straight from the horse’s mouth, checks all three credit bureaus
    • Con: Costly, between $19.95 and $39.95 a month
  • VantageScore
    • Pro: Free scores through numerous financial institutions, including Credit Sesame
  • Equifax
    • Pro: Credible as one of the Big 3 credit bureaus.
    • Con: Costs $9.95 a month, rising to $19,95 a month for Premier or Family Plan
  • Experian
    • Pro: Another of the Big 3. And free
  • TransUnion
    • Pro: Lots of useful features from the third of the Big 3.
    • Con: $24.95 a month

Those are the big, credible players in the credit scoring business. But, if you do a web search for “check credit score” or “free credit score,” you’ll find plenty of offers.

Just remember the CFPB’s warning to take care when choosing.

Get a free credit score report with Credit Sesame

Here’s what you get:

  1. Genuinely free — We don’t even ask for your credit card details
  2. FREE credit monitoring and transaction alerts
  3. Access your score daily
  4. 256-bit data encryption — the same used by banks
  5. We don’t sell your information to third parties for marketing
  6. Regular credit offers, including the odds of your getting approved for each product
  7. Option to use a Sesame Cash Digital Debit Account
  8. Easy-to-use, all-in-one app with 323,000+ five-star reviews
  9. A name you can trust
  10. Learn more and sign up today!

Disclaimer: The article and information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

Peter Warden
Peter Warden has been writing for 14 years about personal finance, credit cards, mortgages and insurance. His work has appeared across a wide range of media, and he is an editor at The Mortgage Reports. He lives in a small town with his partner of 30 years.

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See your score.
Reach your goals.

Begin your financial journey with Credit Sesame today.
Get your FREE credit score in seconds.

By clicking on the button above, you agree to the Credit Sesame Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

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