Credit score this, credit report that, we need to watch it to get our approvals. I don’t like paying for my credit scores and report, and do everything I can to avoid it. Every dollar counts in my book and if I’m spending $30, or $20, or even $10 a month on my credit scores and reports it is too much for me.
I’ll use the free sites out there when / where I can and I’ll use a 3, 7, 14, or 30 day trial of a service to get my latest / greatest scores. Sure, I’ll have to deal with a cancellation call, but 10 minutes on the phone is worth the $30/month I’d otherwise pay for a monitoring service. The best though is when you call up to cancel, you’re likely to receive some form of a “reconsideration discount”. Instead of $30, how’s $15? or maybe $10? Those numbers are more palatable, but I’ll take free any day.
Earlier this year I explained why we don’t use a monthly service, and here’s what I’d recommend if you’d like to get your reports / scores for free on an ongoing basis:
- Sign up for Credit Sesame. Credit Sesame provides your Experian credit score for free and updates every month.
- Sign up for Credit Karma. Credit Karma provides your TransUnion credit score for free and will update each time you login and request an update.
- Get your credit report for free once a year from AnnualCreditReport.com. This site is endorsed and supported by each credit agency and the FTC.
- Use free trial services. In a 2 minute Google search of “free credit report” and “free credit trial monitoring” I found about a dozen different offerings. Sign up, try it out, and if you don’t want to pay the monthly charge cancel it. Either way you get to see your scores and reports and the service provider gets a new set of eyes to look at their product. You’ll have to provide credit card information during all of these and they’ll auto-bill if you don’t cancel … so keep that in mind. Here are a few to get you started:
- Get a copy when you apply for a loan. If you’re applying for a home/auto/student loan the lender is going to pull your credit. When they do, ask them for a copy. While they’re not obligated to provide it to you (unless you pay for it), I have found that if you ask, you’ll receive.
If you’re going to be applying for credit on a regular basis, you need to check your scores on a regular basis. At an absolute minimum log in to your Credit Sesame and Credit Karma accounts monthly to check out your score and grab your free report annually from AnnualCreditReport.com. If you live in Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, or Vermont you’re also entitled to a 2nd copy of your reports each year (thank your state legislators for this).
What do you do to monitor your credit scores and reports?
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day TopCashback is donating $50 cash (to be deposited to your TopCashback.com account) for the best overall travel deal submitted. A great mileage run, mistake fare, partner promo, new card sign-up offer, or the special twist you figured out on a deal today. Add it to the comments section of this post (along with your First Name, Last Initial, and Airport Code) or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post to be eligible to win.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points on dining and travel, and no foreign transaction fees, making this the go-to card for travelers.
This card accumulates Ultimate Rewards points, which are very valuable for transfer to United and Hyatt. Overall, this card is a great choice for maximizing earnings on dining, travel, and every day spend.
- Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
- 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
- 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95