Wilson Financial Services Inc.

(859) 824-9422

Money Read Time: 3 min

The Lowdown on Those Free Credit Scores

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 provided individuals with valuable rights to the credit information companies keep on them, but did you know that the credit score provided to you may be different than the one provided to lenders?

The first thing you should know is that you have a right to see your credit report once annually without cost. You can find free credit reports online. The report will contain important information that may affect your credit score.

While your credit report can be obtained for free, your credit score will cost you money, except in the case where you have been denied a loan on the basis of your credit score, in which case you may obtain your credit score for free. However, many banks and lenders are now providing their customers with free monthly credit score updates.

Your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness, which takes into account past and current credit activities, including any late payments, judgments, liens, bankruptcies, and foreclosures.

When you see an offer for getting your free credit score, it may be a marketing-driven incentive to get you to sign up for a fee-based credit monitoring service. The score may be only available at no cost if you agree to sign up for a trial subscription and don’t cancel prior to the end of that trial period.

The Dirty Little Secret of Credit Scores

Before you purchase your credit score, understand that the methodology used to calculate the score you buy is different from that used to determine the credit score lenders receive.

While the correlation between the scores is high (90%), correlations vary among different consumer subsets. For instance, the correlation is strongest among consumers with scores below the median than for consumers with scores above the median. In fact, up to 27% of the scores received by individuals could be placed in a different credit score category from what the lender receives.1

While knowing your credit score may be important, it may be more vital to review your credit report to correct any errors that may be hurting your score. After that, you can take any necessary steps to improve your credit profile.

1. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 2020

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

Should I Pay Off Debt or Invest?

Should I Pay Off Debt or Invest?

This calculator will help determine whether you should invest funds or pay down debt.

Financial Fixes: Beware of Market Bubbles

Financial Fixes: Beware of Market Bubbles

Don't crash and burn in a market bubble, here are some ideas on how to build a solid investment portfolio.

Keep Your Credit Score on the Upswing

Keep Your Credit Score on the Upswing

Your FICO score matters more than you may realize.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Tax-Advantaged Health Care Planning for Retirement

Heading into retirement with confidence is easier if your planning includes steps to minimize taxes, especially as it relates to health care planning.

It’s Time to Have a Talk with Your Parents

One of the strangest developments in the ever-evolving child-parent relationship is reaching the point when an adult child starts dispensing advice to his or her parents. It’s a profound, but natural turning point in the relationship.

Organizing Your Finances

Spark joy and become more confident by giving your finances the home organization treatment.

View all articles

Should I Buy or Lease an Auto?

This calculator compares the financial impact of leasing versus buying an automobile.

Should I Pay Off Debt or Invest?

This calculator will help determine whether you should invest funds or pay down debt.

Home Mortgage Deduction

Use this calculator to assess the potential benefits of a home mortgage deduction.

View all calculators

Principles of Preserving Wealth

How federal estate taxes work, plus estate management documents and tactics.

An Inside Look at Retirement Living

A number of questions and concerns need to be addressed to help you better prepare for retirement living.

Your Cash Flow Statement

A presentation about managing money: using it, saving it, and even getting credit.

View all presentations

Video: The Independence of Financial and Emotional

Greater financial and emotional confidence brings greater independence. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Dreaming Up an Active Retirement

When you retire, how will you treat your next chapter?

Are Alternative Investments Right for You?

With alternative investments, it’s critical to sort through the complexity.

View all videos