Credit 
72
comments

How To Get A Free FICO Credit Score

Your FICO credit score is increasingly becoming one of the most important numbers in your life. I’ve written about what’s in your FICO credit score as well as how to get FICO credit score estimates, but never how to get the actual three-digit FICO score calculated by one of the bureaus.

While the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) did wonders to shed light on the credit reporting industry and the data they are collecting on all of us, the light wasn’t bright enough. There is no way for you to get a free FICO credit score unless you sign up for a trial with one of the bureaus or with Fair Isaac Corporation directly.

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 Credit 
19
comments

Free FICO Credit Score Estimates

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.

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 Credit, The Home 
4
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Buying A House? Check Your Credit History Now

A lot of my friends are thinking about buying, or have already bought, a home this summer. If you’re planning on buying a house in the next year, check your credit history right now for inaccuracies (it’s free!). According to Consumer Reports, about 13 million inaccuracies are discovered each year, which means there’s a uncomfortable chance your credit report will have something wrong on it. Hopefully it’s something harmless, but if it isn’t then you’ll want to correct it asap.

Not buying a house for several months? This is actually the perfect time to check because it can take as many as 90 days to correct error (yeah, ninety days) because the bureaus need to research your claim.

Check your credit history for free at the government mandated AnnualCreditReport website. You can get a copy of your report once every year from each of the three bureaus. If you’re buying a house, I’d get all three at the same time to verify accuracy. If you aren’t and just want to use it, I’d stagger them out a few months so you can get a rolling 3-month old view of your credit history.

Happy house hunting!


 Credit 
9
comments

Do-It-Yourself Identity Theft Protection

Identity TheftLast Friday I discussed the CEO of LifeLock’s appearance on the Today Show and how many of the services they offer are things you can do yourself. So, rather than leave it all vague, here’s what you can do for a do it yourself solution.

AnnualCreditReport.com

Through AnnualCreditReport.com, you can request a copy of your credit report from each bureau once a year. I generally like to stagger it every 4 months so you can keep up to date absolutely free. For example, get your Experian in January, then your TransUnion in May, then your Equifax in September, then Experian again the following January.

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 Credit, Government, Personal Finance 
3
comments

Request Your Free Credit Reports

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates that consumers are allowed to review their credit report for free every 12 months. This rule covers all consumer reports, to include specialty reports like insurance and check writing. Until the FCRA mandate, you had to pay to see your report!

Initially there is a rollout period so that the three credit unions don’t get clobbered all at once but by now everyone can get a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.

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