It’s easier than ever to get your credit score for free.
In recent years, credit card companies, banks and credit unions started offering free credit scores to their customers. Today, there are even several institutions that offer free scores to the general public, according to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB.
The CFPB is the federal agency that in 2014 pushed for credit card companies to make credit scores available to their customers for free.
Some four years later, the CFPB has released a list of several types of institutions that offer free credit scores to at least some folks. The list comprises:
- Credit card issuers that offer free credit scores to certain customers.
- Financial institutions that offer free credit scores to customers who use some of their financial products besides credit cards (such as bank accounts, loans or mortgages).
- Nonprofit credit and financial counseling providers that offer free credit scores to their clients.
- Companies that offer free credit scores to the general public.
This makes the list considerably longer than the list that the CFPB released a little over a year ago.
How to get your credit score for free
If you are a customer of any of the credit card issuers or other financial institutions that offer free credit scores to their customers, it may be easiest to start there. Learning your score could be as simple as logging in to your online account.
For example, once I log in to my credit card account, seeing my score is one click away.
If you can’t find your credit score by logging in to your account, you may want to contact the institution to ask how customers can access their scores for free.
If the financial institutions you use don’t offer you a free score, check out the six companies that offer free credit scores to the general public, according to the CFPB. They are:
- Capstone Community Action, a poverty-fighting nonprofit organization that serves Vermont
- Credit Karma, a personal finance tech company
- Discover Bank (through its Credit Scorecard service)
- Heartland Alliance, a poverty-fighting nonprofit organization that works in the U.S. and abroad
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. (through its Credit Journey service)
- LendingTree, a mortgage broker
Most of these companies allow you to find out your score online. Just visit their websites and create an account.
Comparing free credit score services
There are many types of credit scores, and financial institutions generally allow you to see only one type for free. So, if you are looking for a particular type, you may have to pursue multiple entities.
For example, my credit card company gives me only my VantageScore 3.0 credit score. For my FICO credit score, I would have to turn elsewhere, such as to the Discover Credit Scorecard program.
If you turn to one of the six companies that offer free scores to the public, just understand that they may have an ulterior motive for offering free scores to all. According to the CFPB, that motive may be marketing- or sales-driven:
“Remember that although these companies may offer this service at no cost, they may require you to register and enter personal information. Afterward, they may also market products to you.”