Currently, only credit reports are free to individuals in the United States. Credit reporting agencies are required by the Federal Trade Commission to provide you with a free
credit report once a year. Credit reporting agencies are not required to provide free credit scores.
However, there are some tactics for consumers to obtain free credit scores. Consumer credit monitoring companies will provide you with your free credit reports and free credit scores from Experian, Trans Union and Equifax if you sign up for their credit monitoring service. Make sure you obtain all three scores from the 3 credit reporting agencies because your scores may be different from one agency to another because the credit history each agency has about you may not be the same. Lenders may make a credit card or auto loan decision based on a single agency's score, although others such as mortgage lenders often will look at all three scores.
These credit monitoring companies charge a monthly fee to your credit card to provide you with this service, but most of them have a free 30 day trial period. In order to get your free credit reports and free credit scores all you need to do is sign up for the service. Once you have received your free credit scores and report, then just call them up and cancel with them before your thirty day trial is up.
If you find your credit scores are in need of improvement, it may not be a bad idea to pay the small monthly fee for the credit monitoring service. This can help you keep a track on where your credit scores are headed every month. Credit scores affect whether you can get credit and what you pay for credit cards, auto loans, mortgages and other kinds of credit. Higher scores mean you are more likely to be approved and pay a lower interest rate on new credit.
Please note that getting your own credit scores or credit reports won't affect your scores.
Further information on credit scores is also available at the individual credit reporting agencies as follows: Equifax located at www.equifax.com, Phone: 1-800-685-1111; Experian located at www.experian.com, Phone: 1-866-200-6020; Trans Union located at www.transunion.com, Phone: 1-800-888-4213.