How to Check Your Credit Score
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It’s never been easier to check your credit score, and there are numerous places to get it. It’s also never been more imperative to do this regularly, given a lighting-fast digital society where, unfortunately, mistakes happen and identity theft has become increasingly common.
Here’s a quick tip sheet on where to check your credit score:
Try your lender.
Some credit card companies, banks and lenders offer credit scores to their customers for free. This is probably the best place for you to turn since you’ve already established a relationship, and the strings — if there are any — are already attached. Access your accounts online and you may just find a tab that will take you to your credit score.
Other places to check your credit score.
You can get your credit score for free from a nonprofit credit counselor or HUD-approved housing counselor. There are also paid services that offer credit scores for a fee.
An important difference: credit score vs. credit report.
Your credit score is based on your credit report, but they are not the same thing. Your credit report compiles data from your financial history. You can get a free copy of your credit report — one per credit reporting agency — each year at annualcreditreport.com. The credit report will not include your three-digit credit score.
How often should I check my credit score?
You should check your score at least once a year — and probably more often than that, if you can. It’s also a good idea to keep tabs because a sudden dip in your score could be an indicator that your identity has been stolen.