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How to get your equifax credit score
13 ways to check your credit score for free
Updated January 8, 2019
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Your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your financial life.
If you have a good score, you can get nearly every credit card (including those that offer huge new customer bonuses) and get low rates on loans.
If you have a bad score, you could run into trouble trying to get something as common as a cell phone.
If you have no idea what your score is — it’s worth reviewing especially if you plan on making any large financed purchases in the near future (
Available to Anyone
These two services are associated with credit cards but available to everyone:
One of the prettiest dashboards for a credit tracker.
CreditWise has some really nice features that other places don’t offer. The most interesting one is the Credit Simulator, which let’s you simulate what would happen to your score if you did things like pay down debt, make on-time payments for 6-months, 12 months, etc.
For example, my VantageScore is 814 and with 2 years of on-time payments, my score would still remain 814. That means for the purposes of VantageScore, my on-time payment history is as good as it gets. If, however, I pay down debt and reduce credit utilization — my score could go up as high as 824.
A few other interesting simulation results:
- If I increase my credit limit on one card by $5,000 my VantageScore would increase by 3 points.
- If I open a new credit card with a $5,000 limit, my score falls by 4 points.
- Cancelling my oldest credit card will cost me 3 points too.
- Allowing all my accounts to go delinquint for 30 days will cost … 274 points!
The only downside with CapitalOne’s tool is that it uses VantageScore, which isn’t quite “official” though many of those simulation lessons carry over (it’s just a matter of degree).
Very fun to play with if you’re a nerd like me.
Different data + different model = different score
Credit Tracker updates monthly and is based on FICO Score 8, the most widely used FICO scoring model. FICO Score 8 fascinating because it is a little more forgiving than previous scoring models, you aren’t hurt as much by a single late payment or nuisance collection amounts under $100 (like a library book).
Available to Credit Cardholders
My free FICO Score via the Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX
- American Express – If you have a Platinum, Premier Rewards Gold Card, or the Starwood Preferred Guest card, you can view of your FICO Score 8 score based on Experian data.
- Bank of America – Most BankAmericard cardholders will have access to FICO Score 8 credit scores based on TransUnion data.
- Barclaycard – Most Barclaycard cardholders will have access to FICO Score 8 credit scores based on TransUnion data.
- Citi – All Citi cardmembers can see their FICO® Bankcard Score 8 credit score based on Equifax data. This FICO score goes up to 900.
- USAA – All USAA members can see their VantageScore based on Experian data.
With one, or more, of these services you can get a good handle on your credit score without paying a penny (by the way, how does it compare to the average credit score?).
Many of these services can be used as part of our free do-it-yourself identity theft protection system to catch unexpected changes early, so even if you don’t care about your score it’s worth checking out the services.
We’ll update this list whenever we find out more about the new UltraFICO score.