How to (Really) Get a Free Credit Score

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A credit score report includes information about where you live, how you pay your bills, whether or not you’ve ever been sued, and whether or not you’ve ever filed for bankruptcy.  Nationwide credit reporting companies aggregate this data and sell the information to creditors, insurers, employers, and other business entities.

Virtually every company that offers users a “free credit score” actually attach these purportedly scores to a fee-based program.  Accordingly, access to your “free” credit score can actually wind up costing you real money if you fail to cancel their service within a given time period. 

Other companies offer what is called a “credit score estimate” based on information supplied by you.

Therefore, if you really want to get your credit score for free, one way is to actually apply for credit.  Call or visit your local bank branch and apply for a credit card or find an appealing offer that interests you like a great interest rate for a new car or sofa. 

Many furniture stores, for example, offer interest-free purchases; provided that your payments are on time every month.  These types of establishments will typically look up your score and then share it with you before you actually purchase the item.

But what many people don’t know is that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) legally mandates that each of the nationwide credit reporting companies provide you with a free copy of your credit report, upon your request, once every 12-months.

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