Free Credit Report and Credit Monitoring Services

Credit Score:
Sun
Price:
Free

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On February 19, 2014
Last modified:February 20, 2014

Summary:

There are many ways you can obtain your credit report and credit score for free. Even though some of the scores are not FICO score which most creditors use to judge your credit worthiness, a free credit score from Credit Karma or Credit Sesame can still be valuable in evaluating your own credit.

May 1st was the one of the three times in a year that we request a free credit report from one of the three credit agencies. We have been doing this, getting a free credit report every four months, for several years and it had worked out quite well for us. All I need to do is set up an email alert to remind me it’s time to pull a report. This time I got the report from Experian and my wife got her from Equifax.

To get your free credit report, be aware that the only authorized website for free credit report is AnnualCreditReport.com, which you can find on FTC’s website (click Consumer Protection -> Credit & Loans -> Credit Reports, then you will find the Annual Credit Report link on the right). Also it has to be exactly 12 months since you obtained your last report from the same credit agency, not even one day earlier; otherwise your request will be denied.

With Annual Credit Report, you can only get a report for free, without a credit score. To get a credit score, you will have to use paid services. I usually get my credit score through myFico.com and use information from Equifax instead of from just any credit bureau so I can compare the changes over time. If you prefer to have both the credit report and credit score at the same time when getting your Annual Credit Report, you will have the option to add the credit score to your purchase with extra fees. For example, when I ordered my Equifax credit score from myFICO.com three months ago, I paid $15.95 for the report plus the score. If, however, you want to get your score at the same time you order your Annual Credit Report, you just need to pay $7.95 extra for the Equifax score. Seems to be quite a good deal.

Related: The Correlation between FAKO Scores and FICO Scores

There are many other places where you can purchase credit report, credit score and credit monitoring services. The following is a list of fee-based credit service providers I collected.

TrueCredit fro TransUnion

  • Trial period: None
  • What are offered:
    • Unlimited access to all three credit reports and credit scores
    • Notification within 24 hours of critical changes to all 3 reports
    • $25,000 ID Theft Insurance at no additional cost
    • No obligation, cancel anytime.
  • Regular:
    • $14.95 per month

ScoreWatch from Equifax

  • Trial period: 30 days free
  • What are offered:
    • Continuous score monitoring and notification when a change in FICO score impacts the interest rate you are likely to receive
    • Daily monitoring of Equifax credit report with email notification of key changes
    • Two Free Score Power reports plus discounts on additional Score Power reports
  • Regular:
    • $8.95 per month

CreditExpert from Experian

  • Trial period: 30 days free
  • What are offered:
    • Daily monitoring of your credit report and alerts of key changes alert you of potential fraudulent activity.
    • Unlimited access to Experian Credit Report and PLUS Score with paid membership.
    • Receive instantly personal credit report and credit score online
  • Regular:
    • $9.95 per month
    • One-time purchase: 3-bureau credit report and a credit score for $34.95, Experian credit report and PLUS Score for $14.50

ScoreWatch from myFICO

  • Trial period: 30 days free
  • What are offered:
    • Credit monitors important changes to your FICO score and Equifax credit report
    • Alerts when important changes are detected
  • Regular:
    • $89.95 annual fee

Single Identify from American Express

  • Trial period: 30 days free, for AMEX cardmembers only
  • What are offered:
    • Unlimited access to 3-bureau credit report and Credit Scores from all 3 bureaus after the trial period
    • Daily monitoring of all three credit reports with an e-mail alert when critical changes are detected
    • Identity Theft coverage policy for up to $5,000 per occurrence
    • Track your score each month with Experian PLUS Score Trending
  • Regular:
    • $11.99 per month

IdentityGuard from Costco

  • Trial period: None
  • What are offered:
    • 3-in-1 credit report & 3 credit scores
    • 3-bureau credit monitoring & alerts
    • Monthly credit report & score
  • Regular:
    • $9.49 per month for Gold Star members and $7.49 per month for Executive members

PrivacyGuard

  • Trial period: $1 for the first 2 months
  • What are offered:
    • Credit report from 3 credit reporting agencies
    • Credit score instant access from 3 credit reporting agencies
    • Daily monitoring of credit
    • Up to $10,000 reimbursement for certain expenses you incur if your identity is stolen
  • Regular
    • $129.99 annual fee
    • Single-bureau credit report for $9.99, three-bureau $34.99
There are many ways you can obtain your credit report and credit score for free. Even though some of the scores are not FICO score which most creditors use to judge your credit worthiness, a free credit score from Credit Karma or Credit Sesame can still be valuable in evaluating your own credit.

This article was originally written or modified on . If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider subscribing to my full RSS feed. Or you can also choose to have free daily updates delivered right to your inbox.


Author Info

This post was written by Sun You can find out more about Sun and his activities on Facebook , or follow him on Twitter .

2 Responses to “Free Credit Report and Credit Monitoring Services”

  1. broknowrchlatr |  May 02, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for the info. I may start using the annual one. There is one that I am using now that is not mentionned here. CreditCheckBasic – https://creditcheck.experiandirect.com/basic/default.aspx

    gives you all 3 reports for free for 30 days. Then you can go to CreditCheck Expert (as you’ve posted) or CreditCheck Deluxe. Deluxe is the same as expert but without the credit score. It is also onlu $4.95 a month. Then you can pay the additional $5.00 once a year or so for the credit score. With Premium, you pay for the score every month. But, there is no sence getting a new score if nothing has changed. Get the Deluxe and then only pay the $5 when you have a change and want to see the score.

  2. Frank Bruno |  Jul 27, 2007 at 11:42 am

    There are a few items I call “credit report killers” that people should be aware of that can adversly affect their credit report and credit scores.

    There really isn’t too much room here to explain in detail but I have actually made a video about the top 10 credit report killers. This video was made form the .pdf version which I wrote.

    In this video I answer the most common questions I get about information that appears on credit reports.

    Specifically I cover information on Charge-offs, Collection Accounts, Judgments, Inquiries, Bankruptcies, Delinquencies,and more…

    In the video Your clients will learn what each of these items are and how they can affect their credit report, as well as how long each item can remain on your credit report.

    The video is very informative and is solid content for your readers and clients.

    Sincerely
    Credit Expert Frank Bruno