How to Check Your FICO Score

Best Ways to Check Your Score

By far the most important piece of information about your creditworthiness is your FICO credit score. Today’s lenders and insurance companies rarely dig into the details of a credit report. They typically just check the FICO score — which can vary somewhat depending on which credit-reporting agency’s data is used — and judge the applicant based on this score. Even though there are ways to get estimated FICO scores and alternative credit scores for free, there are only two places to obtain your true FICO score, and neither is free…

 Fair Isaac, which compiles the FICO score (800-319-4433, www.MyFICO.com. $19.95).

 Equifax (866-493-9788, www.Equifax.com, select “Equifax Products,” click the “Single Use Products” tab, then select “Complete Report.” $39.95).

In May 2010, the US Senate approved an amendment to a financial industry overhaul bill that would give consumers a free look at their credit scores when they are rejected for a loan, credit card, insurance rate or apartment based on their scores.

Meanwhile, several free online credit score estimator tools can give you a reasonable idea where your score likely stands, including…

Bankrate.com (www.Bankrate.com/calculators.aspx, select “FICO Score Estimator” from the “Credit Card Calculators” section).

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