A couple weeks ago I decided to check my credit report and credit score. It had been over a year since I had checked it and since a lot had happened since then I wanted to make sure that there were still no blemishes on my credit report and that I still had a good credit score.
I went to annualcreditreport.com to check my credit report. That is the official free site for checking your credit report from all three credit bureaus. It is supposed to be easy to check your credit report online, but I’ve had trouble doing so in the past. One reason is because I had my identity stolen several years ago and had a 90 day freeze put on my credit. At least one of the credit bureaus took several years to lift the freeze. The other reason is because I have a hard time passing the identity test. I’ve lived in so many places that I have trouble remembering them all.
This time I was able to pass the identity test. I was a little worried since two of the answers were none of the above, but it seems like that is the most common answer. Since you can access your credit report free once a year, it is advised to just check one report every three months so you can see your credit report more often. This is a good plan, but since I was so surprised that I was able to access one of my credit reports I wanted to see if could access the other two as well.
I was able to access all three credit reports. I was happy to find that I had no negative information on any of my credit reports. The only potential worry was that one of the credit bureaus showed my student loan as a line of credit which makes it look like I’m using nearly all of my available credit. I pay my credit cards off every month so I actually have plenty of available credit. Since I don’t plan on applying for any loans or credit cards I’m not going to worry about the available credit issue right now.
Next I wanted to get my credit score. When you are accessing your credit report the credit bureaus will offer to sell you your credit score also. I’m guessing the credit bureaus probably make a lot of money off of people accessing their free credit report. I didn’t want to pay for my credit score so I went to CreditSesame.com. They offer a free credit score from Experian. In exchange for the free score they will try to sell you credit cards or other financial products. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my credit score is 776. The last time I had checked it was in the 730s. Although, I don’t plan on applying for credit in the near future it is still helpful to have a good credit score.
I’ll have to wait a year to check my credit report again, but I can check my credit score every month. If there are any major changes in my credit score then I’ll know something is up with my credit report.
Have you checked your credit report and/or credit score lately?
4 thoughts on “Getting Your Free Credit Report and Credit Score”
Andy, you’re right about getting the free credit report annually from EACH of the three reporting bureaus–Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. First, the reports can differ, so just because one has no errors doesn’t mean the other two are okay. Second, by getting a free report every 4 months from one of the three bureaus and cycling through the bureaus, you’ll be more likely to catch sooner rather than later any signs of identity theft.
Congrats on the bump in your score!
Yes, I should have spaced them out and will do that next time.
I check mine several times a year. I am a Jr, so from time to time some of my Dad’s info will get posted to mine. Then I get to go through the joy of getting it removed. I did not know about the site to check your credit score, I’ll have to check in to that.
I’ve never had to get anything removed so I was wondering how much of an ordeal it is to get something off the report.