Readers: This is article 18 of 25 from my no-nonsense “Credit Card Basics” quick-reference series.
Your credit score is a financial report card that tells lenders how risky it is to do business with you. The higher your score, the more likely you are to pay back a loan — and that means that lenders will be more willing to offer you bigger loans and lower interest rates.
Thankfully, there are ways to get your credit score for free — you just need to know where to look!
Access It Online. Plenty of web-based companies offer free credit scores. Financial management service companies like Credit Karma, credit education sites like Credit.com and online credit management tools like Credit Sesame are just a few examples.
Ask Your Bank. Several lenders — including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, USAA, the State Employees’ Credit Union, and Ally Financial — recently announced that they’re now providing free credit scores to their customers.
Check Your Credit Card Bill. A growing number of credit card companies offer free credit scores as part of their service. In fact, Discover has been including credit scores on their customers’ online- and paper-statements since 2013 — which means that many credit card holders actually look forward to getting their bills now. Well, almost.
Photo Credit: GotCredit