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Free FICO Credit Score Estimates

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Your FICO score has become one of the most important indicators of your credit worthiness and so many people are very interested in their score. Credit bureaus know this and so they often sell services that let you see what score they’ve given you. Your credit score is important but for many it’s far more important to pue $30-50 a month away into an savings, so enter in FICO credit score estimators.

Below I’ll talk about two FICO score estimators that I feel are trusthworthy enough to work with. There are a lot of websites out there offering a free FICO credit score or a free FICO credit score estimate that are really just front pages for scams getting you to sign up for monitoring services or other pay services (or they’re out to steal your identity!). Don’t use those. I feel the two services below are the only ones you should trust.

Free Credit Report

If you just want a copy of your credit report, without score, then get it from the only place that offers it for free, as required by law, AnnualCreditReport.com. Don’t request it anywhere else because it’s probably some kind o f scam. You can get a copy of your report every 12 months and I recommend you do so in order to check for errors. Now, onto the scores.

Free FICO Credit Score

You can get a free credit score if you sign up for the myFICO ScoreWatch 30-day trial or one of the other options on my list of Free FICO credit scores and then cancel the trial. If you do not cancel within the 30 day trial, you will be billed for the service. You can cancel the service online.

MyFICO Score Estimator

MyFICOMyFICO is a service run by Fair Isaac, the creators of the FICO score, and they offer a free score estimator absolutely free. The 10 question estimator takes about five minutes to complete and offers you a pretty wide range for your score.

The score they estimated for me was 725-775 and my actual credit score, which I checked a couple months ago (just before signing up for a Capital One card I deemed was the best international credit card), fell within that range. The range may seem large but that reflects how each bureau weighs factors slightly differently.

Why this tool? Since it’s fun by Fair Isaac, you can trust that your data will be safe and that the estimate will be accurate to the best of their ability. They created the paradigm and the range represents how the individual bureaus weight different factors. It passes the trust and accuracy tests.

If you want a real score, you can always sign up for MyFICO’s services, Cap at StopBuyingCrap keeps an updated MyFICO coupon page you can review for discounts.

CreditKarma

Credit KarmaCreditKarma is an independent site will get and track your credit score if you offer up some information about yourself. After registering, you’re asked to provide your address, birthdate, and social security number; Credit Karma goes out and grabs your score from one of the three credit bureaus. For a while, Credit Karma was estimating your score, but it appears that they are now actually grabbing it. What concerns me abotu the site is that normally a company will ask you three questions from your credit history to confirm your identity – I was asked no such questions.

The score they gave me was 721, from TransUnion.

A cool feature about the site that people may find interesting is the “credit simulator.” You give it certain scenario changes and they simulate what your score is. As you set the simulations, a little Impact indicator estimates what the impact is. When you’re done, click simulate score and they recalculate the numbers for you. It was a fun little tool to play around with.

Why this tool? Credit Karma is fairly new but they’ve passed the test of public opinion, as evidenced by all the press they’ve received. You’ll also see that they’ve partnered with some of the bureaus (TransUnion sponsors the credit simulator) and so they’ve passed the sniff test with them. While you do provide more information, they don’t store your most sensitive data on the site and you get an actual score.

Between the two services, based on how comfortable you are with sending out your data, you should be able to get an accurate view of what your credit score is. If you opt for Credit Karma, you get the added benefit of playing with the simulator too!

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19 Responses to “Free FICO Credit Score Estimates”

  1. Diane says:

    GET YOUR FREE CREDIT REPORTS – Take advantage of the opportunity to get a free credit report from each of the 3 companies – Experian, Transunion & Equifax once each year, using annualcreditreport.com.

    The first year I got all 3 of my reports at the same time, to compare the information. The following year I got 1 report on the anniversary date (April), waited 4 months to get the 2nd report (August) and waited another 4 months to get the 3rd report (December).

    Now I get one free report every 4 months – one from each company each year. This allows me to monitor my credit regularly for free.

    CORRECT MISTAKES IN YOUR REPORTS – If you get the reports online, you have an opportunity to request correction for any mistakes you find through the website. After investigating & making any corrections they will give you the opportunity to see the corrected report for free.

    ORDER CREDIT SCORES – If you want to monitor your credit scores as well, order 1 score each time you get a free credit report. When you access your free report you will have an opportunity to order a credit score from that company for $6-8. I order 1 credit score each time I get a free report – the cost is minimal and I track my credit scores from each company each year. It’s worth the cost to me to know where I stand!

  2. CKFounder says:

    Thanks for letting your readers about Credit Karma. Please let us know if you find the service useful.

    • saladdin says:

      Why is mine always at least 30 points lower then myfico? I have no mortgage or loans of any type open. I use only 1 credit card and pay off every month.

      If your service is having such a hard time with a file of my size then I don’t see how it can be accurate for complex ones.

      saladdin

  3. Miss M says:

    I know a few people using Credit Karma so I’m considering checking it out, seems to be legit. I wonder if it’s your “true” score though, I thought the only way to get your actual score is to apply for a loan. The lender is then required to share the report and score with you. Anyone know if CK is your real FICO or just another guesstimate?

  4. CKFounder says:

    @miss m

    That is a common misconception, that there is only one true credit score. There are hundreds of different scores. When it comes to FICO they have multiple scores and those scores are even different depending on the bureau you use.

    Independent Source: http://www.experian.com/consumer/credit_score_faqs.html#1

    The truth is that all credit score are similar and correlated. Monitoring one, a few, or all is a matter of detail and costs.

  5. Aya @ Thrive says:

    Credit Karma seems like a good resource, I’m glad there are people spreading the word about useful sites that are being tried out. Just to add to the mix, Thrive (a free online financial advisory) has added a new feature which gives users their credit score estimates for free as well. It’s important to know your credit score before embarking on improving it, and Thrive also gives advice about how to work on your credit score instead of just showing it to you to decode by yourself.
    Just thought I’d pass on another resource since it was relevant to the discussion at hand.

  6. I’ve met with the CEO of Credit Karma a couple of times and can only tell you that they have the consumer’s best interest. Even if you don’t sign up for their service, their blog (http://blog.creditkarma.com) is a great source for credit information.

  7. saladdin says:

    Creditkarma has never been close. I just ran it again and it shows 668 but myfico is 710. It has always shown scores 30 poitns lower then myfico.

    saladdin

  8. Diane says:

    Regarding Creditkarma, I’ve had the same problem. My score was MUCH lower there than I’ve ever gotten from one of the 3 credit reporting agencies when I’ve paid for a score.

  9. globetrekkerr says:

    You didn’t mention that MYFICO also has a 30day trial period and then they will charge you annually if you don’t cancel. Your article sounded like there was no “cancellation” required. Maybe you need to research futher.

    • Jim says:

      I’m sorry it wasn’t clear, typically a trial means that you get to try something for free and then pay for it if you don’t cancel the service. I’m sorry it wasn’t clear but I’ve amended the article to make that clear. If you call and say you want to cancel, they will usually pro-rate the refund and issue it to you.

  10. Ab says:

    Just checked using both the estimator and Credit Karma. Both worked very quickly and the scores matched up well too. Thanks for this post, truly helpful stuff! Too many bloggers simply rehash oft repeated techniques of raising / managing your score, you were the first I found with helpful links and how to information. And now I know that I don’t need to stress about raising my score since its relatively high considering im only 20. Thanks for helping me put my mind at ease!

    -Ab

  11. D.S says:

    I have tried Credit Karma and The estimator and both gave me different scores with large margins. Try credit.com it’s great.

  12. JWP says:

    I have been utilizing Credit Karma for almost a year. During that time I also obtained reports and FICO scores from MyFico including TransUnion, which CK uses. Everything seemed consistent between the information reported by CK and the credit reports until Jan. Since then, the percentage of ontime payments they provide shows a “dip” twice even though there has been nothing late. A review of the TransUnion credit report verifies this. My scores never dipped and remained about 35 points above the FICO scores, so it didn’t affect that, but any errors, especially with numbers, lead one to question their methodology. Emails to CK have been less than productive as they continue to provide “canned” responses about “credit scores” being different for various reasons. I assume they manipulate the raw information from TransUnion, to produce their “Credit Report Cards” but there seems to be something wrong somewhere in their “translation”. Might be something simple, but they don’t seem to understand the problem. It has caused me to lose confidence in their “Credit Report Cards” and graphs.

  13. Yankeeman says:

    Hi – thanks for your review of Credit Karma. Question on credit scores, is there a way to get the credit bureas to rescore me if I pay off my large amount of credit cards all at once. We are consolidating all debt into a refinanced mortgage and want to get rescored fast as we are also trying to get a leased car for our 17 year old daughter and get a college loan in a month from now.

    Thanks if anyone knows – if I should write this somewhere else, please let me know.

    Thanks, Glenn

  14. JB says:

    I have to constantly check my credit & try to keep my scores as high as possible to survive medical school on student loans. I’ve used creditkarma & many other sites for this & feel that all of the Transunion affiliated sites, including CreditKarma report scores that are well below the scores I get at myfico or directly from the credit bureaus. I’ve also noticed inexplicable variations in my score at creditkarma (never for the better unfortunately) when NOTHING has changed from the previous score update.

    Considering how difficult it is to maintain accurate & consistent credit reports & scores, I’d like to find out which agency a bank or other potential creditor tends to pull reports from, before I put an inquiry on my report. Anyone know of any sites where I could find that?

  15. Val says:

    I just signed up to creditkarma and try as I might, step 3 never goes thru. It just gives me an error each time saying that I have to complete all fields. I did complete all fields correctly except the apartment box since I don’t live in an apartment. I got tired of doing it over and over to no avail and decided to cancel. Guess what? NO CANCEL BUTTON!!!

  16. UK says:

    I have been using creditKarma from 2010 and its really cool. When I applied for car laon the score they gave and CK gave was in the same range. I dont get any bugging or marketing emails from them. They have very nice features in their site and their blog/advice rocks. It also shows how much you can save on some of the services. Only things that was wired was the the savings its displayed for my auto loan for not actually showing, it was actually extra spending. I dont know how they calculate it, but was not right.

  17. Steve says:

    I was leery about exposing all my junk (CREDIT) to a site which claimed to be totally free. Credit Karma has been more than helpful to keep track of my credit. It brings information to the front of your brain which normally you would never think of. I have improved my credit score almost a 100 points and I monitor it almost daily, at least once a week. You get you “real time” TransUnion credit score on a daily basis. They also alert you on credit card, personal, auto and home loan balances. They make you understand how they have an impact on your credit score. They also have a credit stimulator to give you hints on how to raise your credit score. I followed easy instructions to dispute an “open loan” on my credit report which was paid off in 2002!!! It lowered my monthly payments by $115!!! I called TransUnion on a toll free number. The dispute was settled in about 10 days and reflected on Credit Karma immediately! Thumbs UP!


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