Finding out what your credit score is can be a tedious process. That’s because consumers have not one, but three different FICO credit scores—one from each of the three major credit bureaus. People have traditionally had to go to each one individually to get access to their credit score, answering a series of questions to confirm their identity each time.
Now FICO is offering all three credit scores from Equifax, TransUnion and Experian in one place. For $19.95 each, or a total of $59.85 for all three, customers can receive their credit scores in one step. At myFICO.com, folks create and save a profile to prove their identity and keep their account secure. Then they can avoid entering the same information multiple times.
There are many services that offer consumers access to their credit scores, however FICO’s release said their site is currently the only one to offer all three scores in one place.
The importance of credit scores
Lenders use credit scores to determine an individual’s creditworthiness. A person’s credit score affects whether or not they will be given a certain credit card, car loan or mortgage, as well as what their interest rate or credit limit will be.
When applying for a loan or new credit card, customers often do not know which credit bureau the lender will use to review their application. Some lenders only look at one score, while some look at a combination of all three scores. When applying for a mortgage or other line of credit, it can be important for consumers to keep an eye on all three of their credit scores.
Not all information is reported to each credit bureau. Some lenders send information about customers to only one credit bureau. For this reason, financial advisors recommend that customers not only get their credit scores, but their full credit reports. That way they can see which information is being reported to each bureau and ensure that it is correct.
It has been estimated that as many as 42 million Americans’ credit reports contain at least one error. Not all of these errors affect a person’s credit score or ability to get a loan. However it is still important that they review their credit report regularly to make sure any mistakes are corrected.
Free credit reports from each bureau are available to consumers once a year from annualcreditreport.com. This service, however, does not give people their actual credit score. It only shows them the information that goes into calculating that score.