I was having dinner with a friend last week and we were discussing my favorite thing, travel and money, but not in that order!?!
We were talking about credit, credit reports and more. He was sure he had figured out how to get his credit report free, once a year, but I asked him did you know there’s a way to get all 3 for free everyday?!?
Credit, credit score and your credit history can be a taboo subject. However, I’m more of a direct approach person when it comes to these topics. I have no shame discussing my credit score, report and how credit cards in general work.
Seems these days that everyone is trying to sell you something based on fear. Lock your credit report for $29.95 a month! Keep hackers out of your life! They have your social security number, now they will destroy your credit! Wow, I’m already scared.
Data breaches happen, often. More than we probably know. There’s current legislation being discussed to allow you to freeze your credit for free. All good things, but shouldn’t you be able to see your credit report from all 3 bureau’s, Equifax, Transunion and Experian for free anytime you want?!
Yes, yes there is….
OK, once again, stick with me. If you are one of those flip it and forget it type of people this article isn’t for you. This takes a bit of background work to set up and a few extra steps, but once you get it going, it’s pretty easy to do.
Accessing Equifax & Transunion
Most people have heard of CreditKarma.com
Credit Karma is a website that works with banks and credit card companies to “market” you credit cards and loans.
However, what they do (and do well) is provide you data on your credit report. They provide your credit report for free from Equifax and Transunion. This can be very valuable if you are trying to monitor what accounts you have, your spending vs credit limit, etc.
Under the my profile page, you can set up your communication & monitoring settings. If someone applies for a credit card and the bank or issuer pulls your report from Equifax or Transunion, Credit Karma will email you!
They also provide you a (fake) FICO score and other features as well. Don’t go near the “recommended” credit card section as these offers aren’t the best that you can get for each card and they get a commission for the referral. You can usually get higher sign-up credit card offers elsewhere. However, using Credit Karma for the basics, viewing your report and notifications of credit reports pulled is very valuable.
However, Credit Karma doesn’t cover Experian. But, there’s help for that!
Free Credit Score.com works the same as Credit Karma, however, the site is backed by Experian. Experian is the other of the 3 credit bureaus.
Basically the same as Credit Karma, sign-up, set up your notifications for credit report notifications and credit hard pulls. They do try to sell you an upgrade every time you log in, however, it’s a simple NO THANKS CLICK.
Setting up the two websites can take a bit of time, however, once you have it up and running can save you a ton of time and help monitoring your credit report and files.
Understanding your credit report and how the 3 agencies work can be a bit overwhelming, but these two sites are a great start for someone who wants to keep tabs on their reports.
Have you used Credit Karma or FreeCreditScore.com? Let us know in the comments!