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how to check credit score

Here’s How to Check Your Credit Score for Free 💸

Learn how to check your credit score for free and understand its significance. Discover simple methods to maintain a good credit score and the importance of being aware of your financial standing.

Ever wondered “How do I check my credit score free“, well… wonder no more. In this article, you will be informed not only how to do it but also, what it means, what affects it, and how to maintain a good score. 

You’ll be glad to hear that the means of “checking my credit score for free” are plentiful and actually very simple. It’s also a very positive sign that you are looking to find out as it’s actually a useful thing to know and be aware of.

When lending money to the agency use credit scores to assess your reliability in paying back debts promptly. Simply put, the better your credit score, the more access to loans with better interest rates, which goes a long way in the mysterious world of finance. What about where can I check my credit score for free?

Now that we’ve established the importance of a credit score and what it actually is. Let’s get into the juice of this article! As a curious novice, you have three main choices in how you go about attaining your credit score.

Where can I check my credit score for free?

Option 1 // Check with your card issuer: Loan and credit card companies are very likely to offer you this service, and it’s a safe way of attaining your credit score report. More often than not you can receive this on your monthly statement or simply by logging into your account online. If you have a mobile banking app it can be found through this system. 

Option 2 // Visit a website/app that offers credit scoring: The big dogs are Experian, ClearScore, Moneysupermarket and Credit Karma, these are the best for receiving your credit file. They offer free credit scores, as well as brief sections educating you more about your credit report which can be greatly helpful. Well… not if you’ve already read this article. Make sure to have a read through the terms and conditions before signing up, to prevent being caught in a ladder of chaos, the financial world a cruel mistress and needs respect. Still to these three credit score companies and credit reference agencies and you will be in good hands!

Option 3: Visit a non-profit counsellor: This is a simple option for you old-timers that don’t like messing around online. Simply check the National Foundation for Credit Counselling, and then look for your nearest and best option. Credit counsellors can let you check your credit scores for free in the UK and are the way I check my credit score if you care, which you probably don’t. 

What is the best way to check my credit score? Well, there isn’t one simple answer to that question, all three options are viable and I’d recommend using any of them. So now know the very basics and you know how to navigate credit score companies, I’m going to teach you a little lesson about our infamous friend Mr Capitalism. So that you become an expert on what credit scores actually mean. 

What does a credit score mean?

Credit scores are a genius invention, which provide a perfect assessment of a potential loaner to a lender. They can categorise you and then make offers or restraint based on what category you fall into. This reduces their risk of losing money and enables them to place trust in the hands of the right people.

Consequently, because they are such a big deal, there are now hundreds of scoring models in circulation and you, therefore, are likely to receive a lot of different scores. I.e. your score can change from one site to the next. Don’t panic; your specific score number isn’t actually the be and end-all in this situation. Instead, you need to keep an eye out for the range you are categorised into. You will be provided with information and context about your outcome by the avenue in which you took, which can help you assess your current spending and financial situation. This is a useful bonus when you want to check your credit report. 

The key information to look out for is what grade your score is: exceptional, very good, good, fair, or poor. I think you can guess where on this scale you want to be and where you do not! If you do fall in to an unexpected category, good or bad, then you can find solace in the fact that information will be provided on the reason behind your score’s location. You will be given the perspective of the lenders on your dependability and what they think is an acceptable loan to offer you. Pretty helpful if you ask me!

Now, what affects my credit score?

This is the real nitty-gritty of this subject because it is the great step before action. You need to know why your score is higher or lower than expected so that you can then make amendments to your financial situation or lifestyle. Or even to learn what not to change if its going well. To simplify this article, I’m going to use FICO’s Score version. You can access this through Experian if you’re wondering “how to get my credit score” FICO edition. 

So, 5 factors, here they are:

Payment history, the quantity of debt, length of credit history, amount of new credit and finally credit mix. 

Let’s elaborate on this new bombshell, shall we…

Payment history: Take a deep breath in because this accounts for a whopping 35% of your FICO score. So, make sure that you regularly pay your bills on time, otherwise, your score will fall lower and lower, which is definitely not what we need. The aversion to loss is important for humans, and it’s a crucial factor for your credit score as well. Luckily, if you want to improve your score you can do the opposite, be fast, be transparent and send your bills off on time at the asked amount. Simples!

Quantity of debt: Ready for the second biggest uppercut? The amount of debt you hold accounts for a further 30% of your credit score, so if step 0 when wondering “how do I check my credit score” is actually to consider how much debt you’ve taken out. All this takes is a little maths, you want to know the capacity at which you are taking out credit. To do so, simply divide how much credit you’re using by the total amount of credit available to you. Keep it below 30%, and if you’re on a quest for financial freedom like the rest of us, the dream is below the magic 7%. 

Length of credit history: Been using credit a while? Well then… this may affect your score positively. The longer you’ve been using credit the more they can trust you based on your history as an experienced loaner, which despite sounding sad is actually a very positive thing. 

Amount of new credit: Time to own up, how many accounts have you been opening up recently, huh? If you’ve opened up a significant amount, then you’re at a greater risk of not being able to pay it all back, therefore you are likely to be given a worse categorisation by lenders affecting what you can take out. 

Last but not least – Credit Mix: Your final chance to score high is if you have lots of different kinds of credit. This is because your risk is diversified rather than placing all your eggs in one basket. You may want to think about changing up old habits to improve your score by mixing up different types of credit cards and loans. 

Before I go back into the deep web, I want to deal with one last question
Does it hurt your credit score to check it yourself?

The answer, no! In fact, it’s very important that you continue to check it frequently to stay on top of your finances, especially if you are thinking about taking out a new loan. If you’re still full of questions like “How frequently does my credit report get updated?” or “What is the perfect credit score” My recommendation is to take a peek once a year at least and you can relax, nothing crazy is about to happen so don’t panic. Look out for any inaccuracies, if you find any you can file a dispute with an appropriate credit bureau.  

Thanks for reading.

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Alfie King

Alfie King

Alfie King is a writer, freelancer, and entrepreneur. He grew up in London and enjoys writing about business, finance, travel, lifestyle, and politics. He’s a student at the University of Bath and is invested in several different business ventures.

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