How To Get Your Credit Scores – Lesson #3

March 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Credit Score Lessons

Welcome back to VideoCreditScore. There are numerous places to get your credit reports and scores and while it seems to be that everyone is looking for the clear right answer for which product or website is best, it really depends on what you are looking for.

We’ll go through some of the better products here, but also check out the Comparisons Tab to see how each product is different.

If it’s scores you’re after, the only place to get all 3 FICO Scores – again this is the score that most mortgage lenders are using — is on myFICO.com.

If you are just starting out we recommend getting the FICO Complete which features all three FICO scores from myFICO and then signing on to Score Watch to get regular alerts. Why not just get FICO Complete every few months? Well it can be more expensive to go that way as you are trying to guess when your score might change. Why not just get Score Watch? Well you can, but according to 1 study about 20% of consumers can have 75-100 pt differences in their scores from the 3 bureaus, so it might make sense to check with FICO Complete to start.

If you know your score is going to be low, then the Suze Orman FICO Kit is nice alternative to the FICO Complete as it has numerous coaching modules. For just a few dollars more, the Suze Kit has some really nice features such as family sharing, and the credit coach.

If you absolutely feel you need 3 bureau monitoring, we like the Equifax product the best, but all three bureaus have nice offerings here. TU and Experian products feature their own proprietary credit scores.

You may have heard about AnnualCreditReport.com. This is the government sanctioned web site. As of 2004, You are entitled to 3 free reports a year. Unfortunately, you have to pay for the scores, which are only $5-7. Plus, only the Equifax score is a FICO score, the rest are non-FICO scores.

Be careful when you go to find this site. The World Privacy Forum did a July 2005 study that found that there were 233 domains with names very similar to annualcreditreport.com.

While the spirit of AnnualCreditReport is great, a free report without scores is kind of like Abbott without Costello, Jerry without Dean, the Grateful dead without Jerry…man, I sound old. Okay, how about Beyonce without Jayz, Mary Kate without Ashley. Plus, the report products are more barebones than the pay products. But hey, it’s free.

Speaking of free. Be careful with the “Free” language you hear, many sites are touting Free when it’s really a 30-day free trial. These are only free if you remember to cancel — if you intend to. These products can be as much as $150/yr, so you want to make sure you are using them if you are paying that much.

Again, check out the reviews Tab to see our product walkthroughs of various products. In summary, with FICO scores being the most used, we like getting FICO Complete if you’ve never seen your scores, or Score Watch to track your scores going forward.