You CAN check your credit score for free - but it may not be what you think...
You may already be getting your free credit-monitoring and credit score alerts from such websites as Credit Karma, or Credit Sesame. But what you may not know, is that these scores are not FICO scores. Going into the 21st century, the traditional FICO scoring model of old has been a concern for credit lenders. Economics are changing, the way people make and use their money is changing. Traditional lender qualifying has to reflect these changes too.
As a proactive response to an ever-changing economic landscape, the three national credit reporting companies (CRC's), Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, have joined forces to create a more advanced credit scoring solution. The result - the VantageScore credit scoring model.
A number of innovative websites have adopted the VantageScore credit model, which allows consumers to obtain VantageScore credit scores for FREE, as part of no-cost, basic subscriptions to their personal financial resource services. Here are a few that you should be familiar with:
Credit.com provides VantageScore 3.0 scores from Experian, with updates every 30 days, as part of the credit report card included with its free membership account.
Credit Karma provides VantageScore 3.0 scores from Equifax and TransUnion, with weekly updates, as part of its free Credit Report Card service.
CreditSesame provides VantageScore 3.0 scores from TransUnion as part of a free subscription service.
LendingTree provides a VantageScore 3.0 score from TransUnion, with weekly updates, as part of its free subscription service.
myBankrate includes a VantageScore 3.0 score from TransUnion with its basic free membership, and updates the score every week.
Quizzle includes a VantageScore 3.0 score from Equifax and an Equifax credit report with its basic free membership, and updates the score every six months.
ReadyForZero offers free credit-monitoring services that include a VantageScore 3.0 score from TransUnion that's updated monthly.
WalletHub includes a VantageScore 3.0 score from TransUnion and a TransUnion credit report with its basic free membership, and updates the score daily.
All of these sites are building tremendous consumer awareness for the VantageScore credit scoring model, by utilizing platforms which promote wise credit habits, as well as knowledge of credit scoring and its importance to the lending process. While you still have a FICO score, be aware that more and more lenders are using both FICO and VantageScore to qualify you for credit.
Remember - credit is a tool that can be used to create wealth. When used improperly, borrowing credit can lead to a stressful cycle of bad debt. Your ultimate goal should always be to live your life debt-free.