It is important to know your credit history, especially if you plan on applying for any type of auto loan, home loan, charge card or similar in the near future. Your FICO score and financial history can have a big impact on what type of rates you are offered by and lender and how much you end up paying for the privilege of a loan. If you are wondering how to go about checking your scores and history, read on to learn what options are available to you and how you can get your hands on an instant credit report on the internet.
You have several options when looking for a way to get your FICO scores. You can either mail away for a free copy of your report or you can save time and access your report online from a number of different services. If you elect to get your report for free online, be careful. Not all of these services offer you the big picture when it comes to your scores. In fact, the most recognized service (the one with all of those TV commercials) only offers you a peek at 1/3 of your full financial profile. How is this? Let me explain …
It works like this – there are three major bureaus that maintain a file on every person who has ever had a loan or similar account. Each of these three bureaus maintains a separate and unique profile of you as a borrower. They also maintain a numeric figure (known as a credit score) that is used by lenders to determine whether or not you have a good history of managing your money well.
When you choose a service by which to access your scores and report, you will want to ensure that you are choosing one that gives you access to data from all three bureaus. This is where you should exercise caution. Some of the most popular services offer you the least insight in to your borrowing power while there are other lesser known sites that offer you a much broader and comprehensive view. If you are unsure of which services offer this, check out the link at the bottom of this article for a comparison review of popular services.
You will notice when you use any of these sites to check your credit history that you will be offered a free trial of their monitoring service. This is the "catch" and how they can afford to provide free scores and reports. If you decide the service is not right for you, you can always cancel and you won't be charged although you may seriously want to consider keeping the service. Personally, I like these services because they will alert you to any attempts to steal your identity or open accounts with your name and social. With identity theft so common, a service like this is your only defense against having your good name ruined by a scam artist.
As you can see, checking your scores is simply as easy as visiting a website and requesting your information securely from a free credit report provider. Do be careful that you choose a service that offers you the entire picture of your borrowing power by providing information from all 3 bureaus. By using the internet to get your scores and reports, you can save time, save money and get the information you need in just minutes.