5 Easy Ways You Can Check Your Credit Score for Free

how to check your credit score for free

In the past, checking your credit score was a clunky and drawn out process. But thanks to technology, accessing your credit history is quite easy and safe now.

Learning how to check your credit score for free and how it’s calculated is an important aspect of establishing healthy finances. And you don’t really have an excuse to put this off any longer.

Here are five ways you can check your credit score for free every month — no strings attached.

1. Join a credit score startup service

The most common way to keep tabs on your credit score is by using a third-party service.

In the past decade, several credit score startups have broken into the financial market and given consumers access to their credit scores for free.

Remember when you would sign up for a free credit score reporting trial and risk forgetting to cancel your subscription before being charged the following month?

Well, startups like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and Quizzle are breaking this mold. These online services now allow you to check your credit score for free.

These startups also offer an in-depth look at your credit history. They list important information that helps populates your credit score, past payment history, a summary of all your debt accounts, and more.

All you have to do is create a free account, answer a few questions, and your credit history will begin to populate. You can also download the free mobile app that comes with each service and monitor your credit rating on the go.

2. Access your bank account

Many large financial institutions are rolling out new credit score monitoring features for their customers. It’s usually a free extra benefit for being a personal banking customer with them.

For example, Capital One’s service is called CreditWise and is accessible once you log into your Capital One account.

Chase also recently launched their service called Credit Journey where you can view your credit score, get weekly updates, and receive regular alerts to stay on top of your credit. You can use your existing Chase login information to access this free service.

If you’re not sure whether or not your bank offers this service, take a look at your online account with them. Or, contact customer service and inquire about it. They may have plans to launch it soon, especially since it’s a very in-demand feature for personal banking consumers.

3. Check out your credit cards

In addition to being able to check your credit score for free as a banking customer, nearly all credit card companies offer this feature as well.

Capital One credit card members can access the same CreditWise service as banking members, while Discover credit cards have a built-in FICO monitoring service called Credit Scorecard. In fact, Credit Scorecard is offered to non-Discover customers as well.

If you’re not already a credit card holder, getting your credit score for free is easy this way. Simply sign up for a credit card that has the FICO score monitoring feature, then create your online account.

Once you’re approved, you can view your free FICO score at any time inside your account via their website or mobile app. Many credit cards offer this benefit without an annual fee, so you’ll be able to access your credit score for free.

4. Consider joining Mint

A large part of managing your monthly budget should include monitoring your credit score. That’s why the popular budgeting program, Mint now lets you get your credit score for free.

You can access Mint in just a few minutes by filling out your information and linking your accounts. The service is completely free, and you can start using it to budget your income and expenses, as well as monitor your credit.

Every month your credit score inside your Mint account will be automatically updated. You’ll be able to see the various factors that affect your score, why it went up or down that month, and how to improve it moving forward.

And if you find the free version helpful, you may want to upgrade to the premium version for $16.99 per month.

5. AnnualCreditReport.com

AnnualCreditReport.com is a completely free way to access your full credit report and FICO score each year. It also gives you access to the credit information from all three credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

Sign up for a free account and input your personal information into their secure browser. While the credit report is completely free, you can only update and access the information from all three credit bureaus once a year.

As consumers, we no longer have to be in the dark about how to check your credit score for free. Check out these tools and services, some of which you may already have access to and don’t know it.

Then, use this knowledge to help build a better credit history, get a good credit score, and manage your finances more successfully.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2017!
LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Finance Lender Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
  2. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 5.49% APR to 14.24% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.19% APR to 11.32% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of July 1, 2017 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 4.99% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.22% plus 3.95% margin minus 0.25% autopay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2017, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.23%. Variable interest rates range from 6.02% – 15.97% (6.02% – 15.97% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of your loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Fixed interest rates range from 5.99% – 16.24% (5.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Lowest rates shown are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with Citizens Bank at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, Citizens Bank checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Benefit: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.39% - 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
5.19% - 14.24%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
5.99% - 16.24%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
5.99% - 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.25% - 14.24%$2,000 - $50,000Visit Earnest
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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print, understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.