A law was passed in the United States entitling every citizen to one free annual credit report per year from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, the three major credit reporting agencies. What is not required however, is that these same credit reporting agencies provide free FICO scores at the same time. Fortunately, there are additional resources online and through companies you may already have a relationship with where you can get a free FICO score.
The easiest solution is to contact your local bank or credit union where you have a preexisting relationship and ask if they provide free FICO scores. It is at the discretion of the financial institution whether or not they provide this service but it doesn't hurt to ask. There may also be certain circumstances such as opening a new account or applying for a credit card which can also result in obtaining your FICO score for free.
Various financial websites will also use the lure of obtaining a free FICO score in attracting new customers. It can be as simple as creating a new account at which point and activation code will be emailed to you that you can then log in and receive your free FICO score. Make sure however that creating an account does it make you legally obligated to purchase products or services.
Another option is to sign up for a credit monitoring service which normally offers a 30 day free trial. As part of the free trial and as an incentive to get visitors to sign up for the service, many credit monitoring services will offer a free FICO score which you can view after creating an account.
The free FICO score offered by credit monitoring service websites often require including valid credit card information as part of the limited trial. Make sure that if you're not interested in participating in the service and that you we're only signing up for the free FICO score that you cancel the service prior to the limited trial time expiring.
There are many ways to obtain a free FICO score either from financial institutions you work with or web sites offering services. In all cases, it is important to remember the old saying that you can't get something for nothing. There are almost always strings attached so be aware of the terms and conditions of obtaining your free FICO score to ensure you're not signing up for a service you're not interested in.
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