I am looking into buying a new car but dont think my credit is all that good. But before I gent bent over the table with a high interest rate I would like to get an actual credit report so I know what I am working with.
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What is the best option to check my credit, preferably free but not a deal breaker if I have to pay for it. Thanks in advance
Just a point of clarity here though. Credit Karma is great for checking what is on your actual credit bureau, though it doesn't use the scoring model that the vast majority of lenders use.
Over 90% of lenders use FICO scores, adjusted to auto-enhanced, mortgage scores, etc...
Credit Karma uses Vantage scoring, which is a different model not used by most lenders.
So, definitely use Credit Karma to see what is on your report, but understand that the actual numerical score they give you can be very different than what a lender is looking at.
Just want to make sure I'm not on a scam site, is this credit karma's site: https://www.creditkarma.com/ ?
Check if your bank offers credit scores through any credit cards you might have. Another is Credit Karma, but this isn't an actual FICO score, whereas some of the credit card options will give you an actual FICO.
You may find these links helpful:
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Discover, AmEx, Chase, Citi... all of my credit cards offer free credit scores which have correlated well with 'official' pulls I've done with the bureaus.
Capital one credit wise is free and doesn’t impact your credit score. They also offer credit score tracking and suggestions on where to improve your credit score.
Annual credit report does not give a score, if I recall correctly. It just shows all of your lines of credit, good for checking to make sure nobody has opened anything unauthorized in your name.
Credit Karma and Credit Sesame are both helpful. They may not give a true FICO score, but they will tell you what's out there and what you need to work on. I think one of the three major bureaus also has a free service; checking their websites may be helpful.
there are laws that entitle you to free credit reports. Start your research at the FTC's website explaining how this works:
Credit Karma, Capital One and such all use the TransUnion or Equifax “estimated” scores - great for tracking trends in your credit score, or keeping tabs on the things that are important to calculating your score, but won’t match the score you’ll see when you actually go to apply for a loan. They’re great for getting an idea of the things that are helping or hurting your score.
Discover Card allows you to check your official FICO score once per month for free, and they don’t require you to actually have a Discover credit card to do so.
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Source: I worked for about a decade on credit reporting compliance systems for a national bank.
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