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Free Credit Score
Where to Obtain Your Free Credit Score
What is a Credit Report?
Your credit score is a number between 300 and 850 and is the product of statistical analysis based on the credit report. Because it is based on the credit report it is very closely related to it and shows roughly the same thing.
A credit report is essentially a report of your financial dealings with creditors. It lists transactions like obtained loans, payment of monthly installments, payment punctuality, bankruptcy information, and so on. The report is really for banks and other creditors or business partners, to determine if it is safe to lend to you, or at what increased or decreased rate they should give you money, or if they should consider to be your business partners.
Many factors actually influence this credit rating. The amount you take out, the interest you get it at, spending and saving patterns, the ability to pay on time, etc, etc. While being on time is a crucial factor, it may also be important to be regular and create a well defined pattern. Take out loans at regular intervals, pay them back at regular intervals, and so on. This will give the image of a reliable person, it will create a stable pattern and stability is one of the most important factors for banks, being able to calculate their risk.
So by now you can see that having a good credit report is essential. Applying for a loan? Get lower rates with a good rating. If you have a bad one you will either not be eligible or have a higher interest. The same goes for credit cards. Get low APR cards with those cool features like 1% money back on all purchases, frequent flyer miles and so on with a good rating, high APR cards for bad credit with a poor rating. If you operate as a businessman you will also be in big trouble with a bad report as many big clients check up on you, so maybe it will be worthwhile for you to check your report.
Free Credit Reports
Obtaining a free credit report is easy because there are only three legit sources, but this is also the downside. They only allow one free viewing per company, so you can go to Equifax, Experian or TransUnion, but after that your options run out. There is really no other way to get a free report, although this does eliminate a significant risk factor. If you want to view your report any time, visit Equifax to sign up for their packages, but otherwise you only get three reports, one from each company, for free. After 12 months pass you can view the report again.
If you want to optimize your report viewing try to order the free reports spread out throughout the year. Order one on January 1st, May 1st and September 1st for example. This way you can overview your year quite simply. This is a viable tactic since the three companies' credit report shouldn't vary too much, since all three are based on the same data.