Check your credit report at least once a year, if not more often, as part of your normal financial management practices.
You can get a free report and FICO score at www.freecreditscore.com, which is an Experian company, and does not require any credit card information. In addition to the score and report, you receive an explanation of the risk factors from your credit history that most affected the score.
Federal law also allows you to request a free report from each of the national credit reporting companies once every 12 months at www.annualcreditreport.com.
The free annual report does not include a credit score, but you can purchase your credit score when you request your report. Scores typically cost less than $15 and also include the number and an explanation of what the score means and the risk factors from your report that are most influencing the number.
Get your credit report three to six months prior to applying for credit along with your credit score to make sure everything is in good shape before you apply.
You should not have any surprises when you walk into the lender to apply.
If you are working on improving your credit history, it may make sense to subscribe to a credit monitoring service that lets you access your reports. Experian offers these services at www.experian.com.
Check out the scope to hear answers to all the questions asked:
Do you have questions about credit?
Join our live video chat every Tuesday and Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET on Periscope. Rod Griffin, Director of Public Education at Experian, is available to answer your questions live.
Scoped on: 08/11/2016
Want to instantly increase your credit score? Experian Boost™ will be available in early 2019 and helps by giving you extra credit for the utility and mobile phone bills you're already paying. Until now, those payments did not positively impact your score.
This service will be completely free and can boost your credit score fast by using your own positive payment history. It can also help those with poor or limited credit situations. Other services such as credit repair may cost you up to thousands and only help remove inaccuracies from your credit report.