Author Topic: Free credit score?  (Read 7988 times)

rugorak

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Free credit score?
« on: August 28, 2012, 12:26:38 PM »
So I see a thread elsewhere that died off about free credit scores.
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/share-your-badassity/tracking-your-credit-score-for-free/msg17454/#msg17454

Mint keeps asking for my credit score to help me with offers, etc. One of my goals is currently to save for a down payment on a house (no idea where or when just know it is something I want to do eventually and I overestimated on purpose figuring better to have more than 20% if I end up somewhere with inexpensive real estate or just 20% if it is someplace more expensive).

Anyway I don't want to play the games with places like freecreditreport.com and the like. I saw credit karma and credit sesame and they appear OK. But I wanted to poll the audience here and see what people thought of them? All my research seems to show that they are legit, good, etc.

So do any of you use these? Find them good. Any issues? Any other suggestions? I am fairly sure my credit is great. I use https://www.annualcreditreport.com regularly and so I know everything is accurate (or at least was at last check) and I have never been late, etc. Should I even bother knowing my exact score?

shadowmoss

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Re: Free credit score?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2012, 12:29:19 PM »
I've used Credit Karma for the past 2 years and have not noticed anything amiss.  I am frustrated that when they came out with the New!  Free! Daily Monitoring! that I could sign up for, they now only update my info on the regular one once a month on the 1st.  I use it to monitor activity on my report and watch my credit score creep up as I pay off debt.  However, it sometimes does strange things and I don't know how truly accurate it it.

Catbert

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Re: Free credit score?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2012, 01:46:53 PM »
Just bite the bullet and pay $14 to get your real FICO score at myfico.com   It isn't anything you need to do very often.  After you get a baseline there's no need to check again until 6 months or so before you start looking for that house. 

Your (free) credit report itself, OTOH, is something that you can/should keep a better eye on.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Free credit score?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2012, 01:49:50 PM »
Yea I just used the free one.  You just have to sign up for a free trial, then once you get your score, you can just call them and cancel it.  Very easy.

Another Reader

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Re: Free credit score?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2012, 02:29:40 PM »
Credit Karma's score is from Trans Union.  The score and the file detail are somewhat useful, although I find their scores to be 30 to 40 points below the actual Trans Union mortgage score.   I kind of concluded they deliberately underestimate your score so you will sign up for the less valuable credit cards and higher interest rate mortgages promoted on their site and directed at people with the stated credit score instead of your actual higher score.  This article on Yahoo, lifted from CNN Money, is interesting:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/49-fico-credit-scores-095600240.html

Fortunately, when you apply for credit, the lender is required to send you whatever credit score they used in their decision-making.  The range among the three major bureaus can be 50 points or more, even with the same information.  Everyone's model is a little different. 


rugorak

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Re: Free credit score?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 01:47:46 PM »
Your (free) credit report itself, OTOH, is something that you can/should keep a better eye on.
I do the rotating ~4 month thing as most people do. So I keep a very good eye on things.

Credit Karma's score is from Trans Union.  The score and the file detail are somewhat useful, although I find their scores to be 30 to 40 points below the actual Trans Union mortgage score.   I kind of concluded they deliberately underestimate your score so you will sign up for the less valuable credit cards and higher interest rate mortgages promoted on their site and directed at people with the stated credit score instead of your actual higher score.  This article on Yahoo, lifted from CNN Money, is interesting:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/49-fico-credit-scores-095600240.html

Fortunately, when you apply for credit, the lender is required to send you whatever credit score they used in their decision-making.  The range among the three major bureaus can be 50 points or more, even with the same information.  Everyone's model is a little different. 

I read the article on cnnmoney. It was interesting but not too surprising. And I don't mind if it is a little off. More of just curiosity on my part. I haven't had a new loan or anything in years so I have not had anyone give me a score.

Yea I just used the free one.  You just have to sign up for a free trial, then once you get your score, you can just call them and cancel it.  Very easy.

I know a lot of people say to do this. The thought did cross my mind. It just seems a hassle if you want to check more than once ever.

Ultimately I don't really care. I lean towards wanting to try and pay for anything from this point forward in full. The only exception I foresee is a mortgage. So maybe I should be asking is it even worth me thinking about checking on this now or just keep stashing away for a down payment and worry about it later? Really the only thing that will hurt my credit is that I don't take out a ton of loans. Otherwise I can't do anything to make it much better.

kisserofsinners

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Re: Free credit score?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 03:14:33 PM »
The free trial to see the score with Transunion was actually quite a pain in the ass to do. There was a lot of digging to find the cancel product link. I gave them a CC that expires in 4 days anyways, JIC. ;o)

Bakari

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Re: Free credit score?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 08:38:41 PM »
The free credit report annually (up to 3 a year, spaced however you like, so as often as one per month) doesn't include the score.

CreditKarma doesn't give you the report, but does give you the score.
They tell you both the transunion score, the score the auto insurance industry uses, and the new VantageScore, all for free, all updated as often as you like
(although the numbers only change once a month anyway, right after your bills come due, so daily monitoring is pointless - individual credit transactions don't affect your credit score)

These monthly updates don't affect the score itself, the way it does when a creditor looks up your report.

They also keep a record of your old scores, and graph them for you, and break down the different areas contributing negatively or positively to your score: number of accounts, percent of available credit used, average age of open accounts, etc. as well as how those variables compare to other people in the country.

It will also try to predict what affect it will have on your score if you, for example, open a new credit card, or close an old account.

Your free credit report (as important as it is to check occasionally, for errors) won't have any of that.

In other words, I am a far of Credit Karma.
And you don't have to remember to call back and cancel anything within 30 days.

ShavinItForLater

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Re: Free credit score?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2012, 12:30:14 PM »
Quizzle is another free option.  I believe they pull from Experian.

shadowmoss

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Re: Free credit score?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2012, 03:37:53 PM »
Back when Credit Karma was a little more responsive I used it to monitor my credit cards and to make sure no more credit was opened in my name since I live outside the US.  It has become a bit useless for that purpose, other than the once a month update.  It does graph my total debt for the past 2 years, and that is satisfying to look at now.

Bakari

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Re: Free credit score?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2012, 10:26:19 PM »
Quizzle is another free option.  I believe they pull from Experian.

Back when I tried it, quizzle would only give you updates every 4(?) months. 
Still, nice to have another agency's number to compare to.

kisserofsinners

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Re: Free credit score?
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2012, 02:08:36 PM »
Quizzle is another free option.  I believe they pull from Experian.

FYI
After calling Experian the score at Quizzle is based on, but not the same report, but is not the same score as Experian.