Getting Your Credit Score

The three credit reporting companies are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, which by law must provide you a copy of your credit report at no charge once a year if requested. There are also credit-monitoring companies such as Credit Karma that can help you monitor your credit for free. They make their money by suggesting financial products such as credit cards that are likely to approve you, depending on your current score.

In addition, many credit card companies now offer free credit score monitoring. But be wary of
those that offer to boost your credit score by including such things as on-time utility payments. While
technically they do boost your FICO score, often it’s an earlier version of the FICO score than the one
currently in use. Read the fine print to see whether there’s a disclaimer to that effect. These guys are
just gathering your financial data and selling it.

You can request your annual reports by going to or calling 1-800-877-322-8228. You can also go directly to each of the reporting companies:,, and

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