What’s the Best Way to Obtain My Credit Reports and Scores?
There are a few ways you can do it. One of the best ways to obtain your credit reports is through a credit monitoring service. A credit monitoring service will allow you to view your credit reports at anytime. It will also allow you to compare accounts on all three reports a little easier because they are generally all listed together.
The only true credit scores are FICO scores. FICO scores are the primary scores lenders use and the only scores you should care about. FICO is the acronym for the Fair Isaac Corporation, the private corporation creating the best-known and most widely-used credit score model in the United States.
A FAKO score is any score that isn’t a FICO score. FAKO’s are the scores consumers get from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax websites. They are hardly ever used by the credit industry and a FAKO score is, more often than not, way off from your actual score. That is why people call them FAKO scores … they’re fake.
When signing up with a credit monitoring service, please pay attention to how many “new” reports can be pulled when you join. Some allow a new report daily, others allow one per month.
Can I Get a Free Copy of My Own Credit Report?
Yes! However, I highly recommend purchasing credit reports from one of the credit monitoring services. By obtaining a credit report for free, you give the credit bureaus an extra 15 days to verify your disputes and 15 days can be a critical amount of extra time to give the credit bureaus. In my opinion, you are much better off spending $10-$15, plus you get to see your credit scores.
There are many ways to get a free copy of your credit report. As of Jan 1, 2004, due to the new Fair Credit Reporting Act, all credit bureaus are required to give out one free credit report per year. The free reports are available online for 30 days only, so make sure you print your reports if you get them online.
Note: The Credit Bureaus are not required to give out your credit score for free. If you want to order your score in addition to your free report, most are charging about $5.$95 and once again, they are FAKOs.
There Are 3 Ways for You to Get Your Free Annual Credit Report:
- Online at AnnualCreditReport.com
- By Phone (877)-322-8228
- Or by completing the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mailing it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
When you order, you need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth. To verify your identity, you may need to provide some information only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment.