How To Get An Experian Credit Score

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ExperianIn February this year, Experian did something that “shocked” the credit score enthusiasts world (yes, such a world exists and they have a very vibrant and very knowledgeable community in the myFICO forums): they announced that they would no longer be offering Experian credit scores to myFICO users. Many on the myFICO forums were furious.

Does This Matter?

It depends.

Many lenders pull your report from all three bureaus and use the middle number, so not having access to your credit score from Experian isn’t likely to impact you tremendously. Since you will still be able to request your report and dispute any errors or inaccuracies, you will still be reasonably sure that whatever score you get will be based on the most accurate information.

This does take away from the transparency of credit scoring in America. While most companies loathe the idea of giving away credit scores, they’re perfectly comfortable with you paying them to see your score. In fact, on post about how to get your free credit score, every bureau has some trial service you can sign up for where you can get your score.

How to Get Your Experian Credit Score

Here’s the tricky part… when you sign up for those trials, you get a credit score but it’s not a FICO credit score because it’s not using FICO’s equation. To get a FICO score based on Experian data, you need to use FICO’s equation and Experian’s credit report. Since Experian is no longer offering their data to myFICO for the purposes of selling it to consumers, you cannot get an Experian FICO score this way anymore!

So how do you get your Experian FICO credit score? There are a few options out there but none of them are great:

  • Apply for a loan: (Not recommended) When you apply for a loan, the lender will likely pull your credit score from each of the three bureaus and you can ask for the scores. There is a huge downside to this strategy. When they request your score and report, it’ll be a hard inquiry and your score will fall slightly because hard inquiries count against you.
  • Find out if your bank does periodical soft inquiries, then ask for the scores: Banks routinely do soft inquiries on your account to decide whether or not to send you their latest credit card offerings or bank promotions. Since soft inquiries don’t affect your score, there’s nothing for you to worry about and you can take advantage of this by simply asking them for the number.
  • Open an account with PSECU (if you live in PA): PSECU, Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union, offers a free FICO score service to get access to your Experian FICO score. Other banks offer similar services but they appear to be the only one with Experian data. Check to see if you are eligible.
  • Request your score through American Express. If you have an account, you can get your Experian score and credit report for free through an American Express promotion. You get access to your score and report for thirty days and then both expire without you having to do a thing. If you are an American Express cardholder, then you can take advantage of this promotion until it expires.

You can always make do. You can still get TransUnion and Equifax scores through myFICO ScoreWatch and you can still get proprietary Experian scores from Experian, so while this isn’t a great development it’s not horrible.

Since I’ve been writing about FICO credit scores a lot lately, I’ve been asked repeatedly about what I think about Experian’s move to cut out myFICO and consumers. I think it stinks but I don’t think you need to have this close a handle on your credit score. If you do the right things, your score will reflect that.

{ 7 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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7 Responses to “How To Get An Experian Credit Score”

  1. Dave says:

    Awesome – I already have a PSECU account, so I signed up today… the only downside I see is that the info is a little out of date – Mine is from September 2008. I’m not sure if that’s because I just signed up, or if that was the last time they needed to pull my credit info…

  2. B says:

    Just FYI, that American Express link does not work in Firefox. (Didn’t want people to think it was broken.)

  3. Kelly says:

    Firefox link worked for me!
    I just read my husband’s and now I’m off to print mine out via AMEX.
    Thanks so much for this tip! 🙂

  4. Or you could try this radical idea. Tell Experian to shove its credit score where the sun doesn’t shine and move on with your life. That is much better than continuing to bend over and take the continued abuse from FICO and its credit score co-conspirators. If Experian gives you a score you don’t like, what are you going to do about it – sue them? No, you are going to look for errors on your credit report – WHICH YOU CAN GET FOR FREE. So why not just start there?

    This score addiction is so sad.

  5. Ela says:

    I think that All this Credit Score businesses are worth nothing as long the employee’s are not liable for their mistakes.
    I have strong believe that Credit Score Company are created in Banks favor.
    I cant believe that peoples cant step up against to be manipulated, brain washed and suffer mental anguish
    for they own money!
    Thanks, Ela

  6. Gabe says:

    So is there a way to access or purchase from experian my actual FICO score and not their worthless PLUS score? Are there any laws that prohibit Experian from not releasing my FICO score to me? The plus score system is fraudulent in a sense, giving the consumer the wrong impression of their score. My credit history and scores should be accessible by me at anytime and at my request. Please help.

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