Tech on Tuesday: Checking Your Credit Score
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Your credit score plays a big role when you’re looking to make a major purchase, like buying a home or car.
Reviewing your credit report from time to time can help you make sure it’s in good shape when you’re ready to make a big purchase or apply for new credit.
But where should you go to check your credit report?
Here’s how your credit score works: Everyone has a FICO score, which is basically your creditworthiness number. That number can range from 300 to 850. A number of things can affect your FICO score such as applying for credit, paying bills late, and how much of your total credit you’re using.
Looking into your credit score will NOT affect your credit.
There are three major US credit bureaus that give you a FICO score: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
With the Experian app, you can check out your FICO scores from all three of the major credit bureaus. It also can help you boost your FICO score by using utility bills you’re already paying to apply to your credit and your new credit scores take effect immediately.
Experian also monitors identity theft and conducts scans of dark webpages daily to see if your information has been stolen.
Credit Karma is a free tool you can use to check your credit score as often as you’d like. With Credit Karma, you can access your credit scores from TransUnion and Equifax, but not Experian.
Credit Karma sends you weekly updates and notifies you when there’s a change to your credit score. It also gives you information on credit factors affecting your score.
Mint is another free service for checking your credit score. Mint helps you find out where your credit score is lacking and where it’s doing well. Mint shows information on your on-time payments, credit usage and average age of credit on one screen. Plus, all your personal information is encrypted.
Once you verify your identity, Mint will send you credit monitoring alerts if your score goes up or down.
Equifax is working on a three-year plan to earn back the public’s trust after the company suffered one of the worst data breaches in 2017. If you’re feeling trusting, Equifax offers similar services to its competitors. It shows you your FICO scores from all three major credit bureaus, and monitors your credit and Social Security numbers for suspicious activity. Equifax will send you alerts if it detects suspicious activity.
You can try Equifax with a $5 30-day trial. Once your trial ends, the price bumps up to $10 per month.