Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers are entitled to a free credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies every 12 months. Many banks and credit card issuers provide free credit scores to their customers, which is a number based on the content of your credit report. So, chances are, your credit card issuer may have a program allowing you to access a credit score.

You can also request a report by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s website, or by contacting each of the credit bureaus individually — although that may take more time.

Being informed can help you save money when looking to see your credit report or your credit score. Plenty of sources still charge for this information, but there’s no need to open your wallet to monitor your credit health.

  1. What’s the Difference Between a Credit Report and A Credit Score?
  2. Why Do Some Credit Reports Cost Money?
  3. Is My Credit Report Accurate?

1. What’s the difference between a Credit Report and a Credit Score?

Your credit report and credit score are separate, but related, entities. Your credit report lists your borrowing and payment history. Your credit score quantifies this information into a three-digit number. Bear in mind that there is not just one credit score. Each credit reporting agency will score your credit history differently depending on the information in your credit report, and your score will likely fluctuate from month to month based on several factors, like taking on more debt or paying off loans.

You can find your credit score at no cost via services like Discover’s Credit Scorecard, often with additional information that may help you understand what is impacting your score.

2. Why do some credit reports cost money?

You are only entitled to one free credit report every 12 months. That may not be enough in a world of widespread data breaches, identity theft and credit card fraud. Many companies offer services that allow you to pull your credit reports more often, including the credit reporting agencies.

3. Is my credit report accurate?

Studies over the years have shown that when it comes to credit reporting agencies, mistakes can happen. This is why the federal government mandated free annual credit reports in the first place. It is also why it is important to review all three of your credit reports at least once a year.

Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.

Credit Scorecard is provided by Discover Bank, and includes a FICO® Credit Score and other credit information. Credit Scorecard information is based on data from Experian and may differ from credit scores and credit information provided by other credit bureaus. This information is provided to you at no cost and with your consent. You must be 18 years old and a U.S. resident or a resident of America Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. Your Credit Scorecard will be refreshed the later of every 30-days or the next time you log in to Credit Scorecard. Discover and other lenders may use different inputs, such as a FICO® Credit Score, other credit scores and more information in credit decisions. This product may change or end in the future. FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Discover credit monitoring and Social Security number alerts are offered by Discover Bank at no cost, only available online, and currently include the following services: (a) daily monitoring of your Experian® credit report and an alert when a new inquiry or account is listed on your report; (b) daily monitoring of thousands of Dark Web sites known for revealing personal information and an alert if your Social Security Number is found on such a website. This information is provided for free, as part of Discover’s Free Credit Scorecard membership to both existing and new members upon successful product registration. Alert services are based on Experian information and data which may differ from information and data at other credit bureaus. Monitoring your credit report does not impact your credit score. This benefit may change or end in the future. Discover Bank is not a credit repair organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. To see a list of Frequently Asked Questions, visit discover.com/free-credit-score.

Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.

FICO is a registered trademark of the Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Discover Financial Services and Fair Isaac are not credit repair organizations as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Discover Financial Services and Fair Isaac do not provide “credit repair” services or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history or credit rating.