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How To Get A Free FICO Score

How To Get A Free FICO Score

Every individual consumer has all of their financial information listed on credit reports at each of the three major credit reporting agencies. These credit reports contain credit histories which lists all accounts, including revolving an installment, they've carried over the years. Credit histories are represented by a single number referred to as a credit score. There are different types of credit scores from many providers but for the most part they evaluate the same information and are fairly close in value.

A credit score is easily the single most important number, next to a Social Security Number, that a consumer will ever have. It determines whether or not you will qualify for and receive a loan and at what interest rate. It is also used as part of the hiring process when seeking employment and may determine if as a potential renter you are approved for leasing a house or apartment. Needless to say, having a high credit score can mean the difference between qualifying for a mortgage while saving tens of thousands of dollars in interest or renting an apartment in a dangerous neighborhood the rest of your life.

Normally, credit scores are provided for an additional minimal cost when requesting a free annual credit report from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. For those consumers who don't have the funds or refuse to pay for a credit score, there are a couple of different options for how to get a free FICO score. Many different organizations will provide a FICO score for free if the consumer signs up for a limited trial offer. One of the most popular offerings is for a free trial at MyFICO.com. The Fair Isaacs Corporation provides a free score when signing up for a free 30 day trial of their paid program. Before the 30 days is up you can cancel your account and you will not be charged a fee. The hope is that consumers will sign up for the temporarily free service at which point they will choose to become monthly paying members of the service.

Other common options include signing up for credit cards which offer free a FICO score as an incentive and participating in the Equifax Credit Watch Gold 3-in-1 monitoring service. As with the MyFICO trial offer, the Credit Watch Gold service is free for 30 days so you will need to cancel the account before the 30 day window closes if you don't want to incur a charge on your credit card. The credit card offerings may be slightly more difficult because you normally need to be approved for a credit card to receive a free FICO score. The key in all of these programs is companies want your business. As such, they are willing to offer a free value added benefit to encourage consumers to create accounts when they may have gone somewhere else.

Image by: Ken Hawkins