Last week’s blog discussed the potential negative consequences caused by having a low FICO score from any of the three credit agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). However, it is difficult to improve your credit score if you do not know what is on your reports from these agencies. There are several places where you can check your credit rating and report, including annualcreditreport.com.
This is the website where you can pull one free report from the three credit bureaus each year. However, this website involves some preparation, which we have explained in a prior blog. If you get your personal information wrong during this process, then you may have to start over and call the credit bureaus directly.
There are other places where you can pull your credit reports. Unfortunately, many of these services are not free.
- com: You can pull your credit scores from MyFICO.com. This website is operated by the Fair Isaac Corporation, the company that created the various FICO scoring models. However, the services offered by this website could potentially hurt your wallet. It costs $19.95 for each FICO report.
- Your bank: Some banks offer identity theft protection services that monitor your credit reports. Depending on the type of service and bank, they may opt to send you a monthly credit score summary.
There are other websites that offer free credit monitoring services (CreditKarma or NerdWallet are examples). However, these services vary in scope on the type of information they provide. Some may only pull from one or two of the credit agencies. This means that you may not receive a full understanding of which negative accounts you need to resolve. For example, Equifax may include a past due medical bill while TransUnion and Experian do not.
Can Pulling Your Credit Report Damage Your Score?
Many people assume that pulling your credit report can significantly hurt your score. However, if you are the one pulling your own report, this is not the case. Checking your own reports is considered a soft pull of your credit. It is considered a hard pull when lenders check your report.
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