There is an old myth that many people believe that checking your own credit will damage your credit score. This is not the case. Many credit monitoring websites and apps will give you access to your own credit score, without doing a “hard-inquiry”. Hard inquiries are credit inquiries where a potential lender is reviewing your credit because you’ve applied for credit with them. These include credit checks when you’ve applied for an auto loan, mortgage or credit card. Each of these types of credit checks count as a single credit inquiry. The more hard-inquiries you have on your credit report, the more impact it has on your credit score.
Checking your own credit is a great way to find out what debt you have that may have slipped through the cracks. Often times when people move, updating an account with a new address or phone number may not be at the top of your priority list.
Before you start looking for which credit monitoring service is the best choice for you, it is important to know that there are three different credit scores out there: the Experian credit bureau, TransUnion® and Equifax®. Your credit report information can vary from agency to agency because some lenders report your credit history to only one or two of the agencies.
Credit Karma will provide you with your Trans Union and Equifax credit scores without the need for a credit card. In addition, a tab will help you locate any unclaimed money that may be owed to you, that has been turned over to the state.
Credit Sesame has a very similar business model to Credit Karma. The graphics on the website make it appear as though you will receive all three of your credit scores for free. However, Credit Sesame only pulls your TransUnion® score. Credit Sesame does, however, offer credit strategies on what debt to pay first to impact your credit score faster.
Freescoreonline.com is a slightly misleading web address. This website is powered by ScoreSense. This website will offer you one free credit report per year, showing all three scores. Individuals who are more actively working to improve their credit score, should check significantly more often than once per year. ScoreSense does offer a more robust credit monitoring subscription service at a hefty price tag of $29.95 per month.
Mint is an app that is designed by Intuit. Mint will provide you with one of your credit scores for free, it provides budget analysis and categorization. It also assists in tracking your bills and due dates and sends you alerts to prevent potential late fees and accrued interest. Mint also offers identity theft insurance up to $1,000,000.00.
Experian will provide all three credit scores. It is free for 30 days and then increases to 9.99 per month or $19.99 per month, dependent upon the plan you choose. They claim they also monitor dark web surveillance of your social security number and also offer up to $1,000.000.00 in identity theft insurance with the purchase of the more expensive plan.
Checking your credit can be a bit overwhelming if you have not checked for some time. If you check your credit and find that you have more debt than you can feasibly make payments on, contact your local Rocklin bankruptcy attorney for options that may alleviate your financial burden.
Categorized in: Credit