It’s important to periodically check your credit score — especially if you’re planning to buy a house or open a rewards credit card anytime soon.
The easiest (and cheapest!) way to do this is to use a free credit report website.
(Psst…check out all the other free stuff on our freebie deals page!)
What’s the difference between a free credit report and a free credit score?
The short answer is — they’re totally different things, but they work together.
A free credit report will give you a detailed history of your accounts and when you opened or closed them. Companies providing this information are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Your free credit report will also show how diligently you’ve paid off outstanding balances along with any loans you’ve taken out.
A free credit score is a number that’s assigned to you based on the findings of your credit report.
Scores of 690 or higher are considered “good” and scores of 720 or higher are considered “excellent.”
Here’s a list of the best places to get a totally free credit report or score — they don’t even ask for your credit card info!
If you only want a free credit check once a year, AnnualCreditReport.com is the best way to go.
Everyone gets access to a free credit report once every 12 months, but the best part is that you’ll get reports from all three reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
This is the only free credit report that offers a report from all three. You can order them all at once and wait another 12 months to do it again, or you can spread them out. For example, order Equifax, then four months later, Experian, then after another four months, TransUnion.
Order them all at once if you’re planning to make a big purchase soon. Spread them out if you’re just keeping tabs on your credit.
Did you know it’s a myth that requesting a free credit report will hurt your credit? Totally untrue.
And it’s totally free, no email sign-ups, no money you have to pay later. Nada. Downside? You won’t get a free credit score, only the reports.
2. Credit Karma
When you use Credit Karma to check your credit score, you’ll get the score plus a summarized glance at your credit report.
You’ll have to enter your email address and create a password, but it’s completely free and requires minimal effort.
Credit Karma shows a summary of your free credit report from TransUnion and Equifax — you’ll see all of your accounts and their current status.
But you’ll find out your score and get an idea of what your report looks like. This is the only option that allows you to get a free credit check from two of the three credit bureaus’ reports.
But the best part is that when you sign up for a free Credit Karma account, you can log in and see your credit report and score as often as you like. It’s updated weekly.
Similar to Credit Karma but with a few notable differences, Credit Sesame pulls your free credit report and score only from TransUnion, not the others.
But like Credit Karma, you’ll create a free account and have access to your updated credit score and summary for as long as you want.
Credit Sesame updates once per month, so a little less often than Credit Karma.
When you get your free credit report and score from Credit.com, it’s absolutely free — you never have to enter any credit card information.
Credit.com pulls from Equifax only, so this works if you’re just checking in to make sure your credit report is accurate. If you want to get the full picture, you’re better off going with AnnualCreditReport.com.
WalletHub accesses your free credit report from TransUnion and you’ll never pay for it — ever. It’s literally free forever.
The cool thing about WalletHub is that you can get daily updates about what your credit looks like, and they’ll tap your shoulder in the form of an email alert if there are any important changes to your credit.
TransUnion is popular in the free credit report world!
NerdWallet offers a super fast and easy sign-up process in order to get a free credit check.
Just use your Google login and the last four digits of your Social Security number (all of them require this) and away you go!
Log in to get weekly updates — plus, it’s completely free, no trial period — nothing.
Owned by CapitalOne, CreditWise uses TransUnion to offer up your free credit report and score.
Create a login and password and enter some information, and you’ll have instant access to both your free credit score and a summary of your credit report.
You can even use the account simulator to find out what would happen to your credit score if you had to allow one account to become delinquent, start paying child support, or go through a foreclosure.
It’s all totally free and you can access it anytime.
TIP: After you’ve accessed your free credit reports, consider signing up for Dovly in order to start disputing any discrepancies. KCL readers get a special deal — you can place an unlimited amount of disputes to all three credit bureaus for $39.99 per month (reg. $49.99). Since you can cancel anytime, plan to work hard to get your credit report cleaned up in the first month. There’s a slightly cheaper option at $9.99 per month (reg. $14.99), but it’ll only give you your TransUnion credit report. With this option, when you place a dispute, Dovly will submit it to all three credit bureaus, but you won’t be able to dispute any items that show up on Equifax, but not TransUnion, for example.