Several websites now offer free access to your credit score, and they are actually free this time! Up until recently if you wanted your Fico credit score you had to pay for it. There were many sites that led you to believe that you could get your score for free, only to find out that it wasn’t really free. They would only provide “free” scores if you signed up for credit monitoring and provided your credit card for monthly charges. Well things have changed. Two websites that offer free credit scores are Mint.com and CreditKarma.com.
Mint will give you your score for free, as well as help track your budgets, spending and savings goals. This is an excellent site to use to help you stay on top of your financial life.
The other site that we have used is CreditKarma.com. Credit Karma will give you tips and pointers on how to improve your score, they also offer money saving information based on your credit card interest rates and bank savings rates.
Why are they providing free scores to consumers when offering this service costs them money? It turns out they use your information regarding various accounts and point their advertisers toward you, while you are visiting their sites. Neither site sells your information, but they do allow banks, brokerage firms, credit card companies and credit unions to specify what kind of ads should be shown to what kind of consumer. This allows these companies to directly market to targeted groups of consumers. In the end, the user gets a free credit score while Mint.com and CreditKarma.com get paid for advertisements on their sites. In the end, the user may also get helpful information on where to find lower credit card rates or cheaper loan rates. A win-win!
We recommend staying on top of your credit reports through Annualcreditreport.com and continue to monitor your actual score to look for any drastic changes that might flag identify theft.