Easiest Way To Get Your Credit Score For Free

by Broke Grad on September 11, 2008

Thanks to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 we can easily get a free credit report from each of the three major reporting agencies once every 12 months. However, if you’ve ever gotten your free credit report, you know that a vital piece of information is missing — the credit score.

It’s kind of like getting a final exam back without a grade. On most sites I’ve been to in the past, the only way to see your credit score for free is to sign up for a trial of a monitoring service (with a monthly fee), and then cancel it before the trial is over. It’s a big hassle for such a simple task.

Personally, I don’t think you should have to pay to see your financial report card, and I’m glad to have finally found a resource that makes it possible.

Credit Karma Offers Free Credit Scores and More

I discovered Credit Karma via Moolanomy the other day and decided to give it a go. It literally takes a couple of minutes (depending on how fast you type) to sign up — fill in personal information, click an email confirmation, and that’s it. You’ll be staring at your credit score in no time. My credit score turned out to be lucky 7s. Anyone up for a trip to Vegas?

Credit score

Credit Compare Features

Credit Karma also offers some useful comparison features that let you know how your credit score stacks up against the rest of the nation. It’s almost like looking over a final exam grade distribution. As you can see below, I’m part of the 15.9% of the nation that has a FICO score between 750 and 799.

National credit score distribution

My credit score of 777 puts me in the 88th percentile of the U.S. population. Did I just take a standardized test?

National credit score percentile

Finally, your credit score is translated into the words that lenders use to describe your credit worthiness. My score of 777 puts me somewhere between good and very good.

Credit rating

Conclusion

Credit Karma is the simplest, easiest way I’ve found to get your credit score for free. There’s no trial offer to cancel and no hidden fees. It’s just a valuable resource that’s great to know about, especially if you’re planning to finance a car or buy a home in the near future.

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Saturday Round-Up at This Writer’s Wallet
September 14, 2008 at 4:49 am

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Craig September 11, 2008 at 12:53 pm

Thanks for the site. I know there are a ton of sites out there like freecreditreport.com which are bogus and basically are exactly like you said. Free under certain circumstances, which is not what anyone really wants.

Craig
http://www.budgetpulse.com

2 Jamie September 12, 2008 at 7:19 pm

I can’t wait to find a similar site in Canada. The last credit report I got cost me $25 because our landlord insisted we go through the site he chose. We tried to find an alternative but weren’t able to find any sites in Canada that had even free introductory offers.

3 GG September 12, 2008 at 10:56 pm

Is this definitely accurate info? I just did mine for fun, and my credit score has apparently dropped 56 points!? What in the world?

4 Broke Grad Student September 13, 2008 at 11:17 pm

GG: Which credit bureau did you get your previous credit score from? Credit Karma uses TransUnion, so that could be the reason your scores are different.

5 jadefly September 14, 2008 at 11:09 am

Thanks! I was wary of the site at first, but it didn’t ask me to buy anything! It’s nice to finally have a number to look at. :)

6 Stephen September 18, 2008 at 8:28 am

The number’s useless, it’s a proprietary score that only CK offers. No lender ever looks at it, and it could be as much as 100+ points different than your true FICO score (the one most lenders actually see and use).

7 Broke Grad Student September 18, 2008 at 9:57 am

Stephen: I’m not sure if you’ve tried CK lately, but they’ve switched over to the FICO scale of 300-850.

8 Asia August 14, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Anyone yet found a Canadian equivalent to Credit Karma? I’d really, really love to find that resource!

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I hope this report is accurate

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W

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