Credit Score: Credit Sesame (Free Experian Credit Score)

Free Experian Credit Score

Photograph Credit: Credit Sesame

In last week’s 2012 Second Credit Report Update, I linked to my post on Quizzle for receiving a free Experian Credit report and score. Another option for receiving your Experian credit score is through Credit Sesame.

This financial management tool offers a big picture of your credit. For those who want debt management assistance, Credit Sesame users find these tools helpful. One of my favorite blogs, the Krazy Coupon Lady, offers a personal recommendation for Credit Sesame.

I find Quizzle quick and easy to get our free Experian report. But if you find Quizzle difficult to navigate or prefer another resource for your free Experian credit score, then check out Credit Sesame.

Both services are free to you. This means that there will be offers or advertisements to get your money. Just concentrate on your goal – checking your credit score. 😉

As you check your credit and your credit score, use the free options available to prevent identity theft while using time wisely. Happy reviewing!

Question: What do you think of these free services?

2012: Second Credit Report Update

2012 Credit report update

Photograph Credit: Flickr (Dan Eriksson)

Thank you for a great week of What do you think? comments and opinions. I loved Shannon’s tip on air-drying her clothes, and Jen’s comment on trying a no electricity family night.

Thanks for reading Using Time Wisely and participating in the community of saving money, energy, and time.

With the Olympics in full swing, I know you are busy enjoying these special moments with your family. As you celebrate with these athletes, take a few moments to keep up your important documents file by requesting your second credit report of 2012.

If you are following my recommended schedule for requesting your credit reports, then check your previous year’s credit report. Wait at least one year since your last request to acquire your credit report for free.

In using time wisely, I request our reports every 4 (or 5) months. Oops! I got a little sidetracked this summer and requested our reports this past week. I requested Paul’s Equifax report and my Experian report.

Though the credit report request options include web site and mail, my preference is by phone. I already received Paul’s report on official Equifax letterhead, but mine has not arrived yet. When both reports arrive, I will do the following:

1. Review for errors,

2. Challenge discrepancies,

3. Run a free Experian credit score for Tracy,

4. Replace last year’s reports with these accurate reports with score in the first file slot of Box 1 of my important documents, and

5. Put file box away until October’s credit check.

Running the free credit reports keeps you informed of your active accounts and alerts you to any unauthorized new accounts. To protect your identity, request your credit reports on a rotating schedule while using time wisely. Happy requesting while watching your favorite Olympians!

Question: Which Olympic event is a must-see at your home?

Credit Score: Update on Quizzle (Free Experian Report)

Back on March 13, 2011, I shared this post about Quizzle. In this post, I indicated that you would be charged a fee if you requested your credit report from Quizzle after requesting your free report from AnnualCreditReport.com.

Well, I am not sure if I was wrong initially, or if Quizzle has changed their service. Either way, that post needs this update.

After requesting our reports in February and receiving them, I went to Quizzle to run a free Experian credit score. To get the credit score, Quizzle requested that I update the credit report. A red flag raised in my thought process and stopped me in my tracks. I did not want to be charged, so I did some research. The best information I found was in these two paragraphs on Quizzle:

Quizzle Provides a Totally Free Credit Report & Free Credit Score.

We give you a full and free Experian credit report and a free CE credit score. We foot the bill for these freebies because we believe that you should have access to all the most important information about, well, YOU!

What’s in it for us, you may ask? In addition to some helpful freebies we give you – credit report, credit score, home value estimatorhome loan recommendationsbudget planner and expert personal finance advice – we’ll also offer some important home, money and credit services to you at a low price. That’s how we make our money. However, any tools, products or services we may offer are 100 percent optional and we’ll never sell your private information.

There’s No Catch. Really & Truly. No Spam, No Unwanted Phone Calls, No Trials or Subscriptions You Don’t Want.

We’re trained to believe that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But that doesn’t mean that everything that’s free has a catch attached to it.

Before my dad signed up for Quizzle, he asked me if he would get a bunch of spam in his email inbox when he registered. It’s a smart question to ask, but for goodness sake, my own father?! Look, I get it. I’m skeptical of “free” too. But I PROMISE we will not spam you. We have a few helpful email alerts we offer — like reminders when you’re eligible for your new free credit report and score (every six months) and when a new home loan program becomes available that may save you money (based on the criteria you set) — but they’re completely optional. You can turn them on or off at anytime.

With this information in writing, I updated the credit report and was not assessed a fee. Then the credit score ran using the new information from the updated credit report. Because Quizzle is a consumer-requested pull on your credit report, your score will not decrease nor will other entities see this inquiry. The best part, you can check both your Experian credit report and credit score for free every 6 months.

If you dispute any errors with Experian, you can check your credit report and score in 6 months to verify that the changes are permanent. Also, if you have any changes after requesting your Experian credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com, you can recheck your report and score through Quizzle before next year.

In an effort to keep the information presented on Using Time Wisely correct and timely, I decided to update this Quizzle information as soon as possible. Having completed the Tax-Favored programs category last week, I chose today before jumping into the prescriptions category. But come next week, I will return to organize our insurance documents. In using time wisely, use this week to catch up. Happy organizing!

Question: Have you used Quizzle to check your credit report or credit score? If not, what is holding you back? 

Credit Score: Free TransUnion

Photograph Credit: Microsoft Images

Did you survive my lengthy explanation of credit scores? I could spend a couple of weeks explaining the system, but I opted for one lengthy overview.  My goal is to get our documents organized. In organizing, I like to know why these documents are deemed important.

To review, I have shared HOW I get our credit reports and WHERE I can get our Experian credit score for free. Today, I will share how I get our TransUnion credit scores for free.

Once I receive the TransUnion credit report, I review it for errors. Then I visit www.creditkarma.com. Credit Karma is another free service that generates our TransUnion credit score for free. I have registered, and I get periodic notices to remind me to keep checking my credit score.

After logging into my Credit Karma account, I generate my credit score. I also review the comparison graphs which help me evaluate my financial situation. I print out my score and the comparison charts and place them with my credit report. Then these documents are added to my file box #1 in the front file labeled Credit Reports/Card documents. I then put the file away until the next credit report arrives.

Unfortunately, I don’t know of any service that generates your Equifax credit score for free. There are credit monitoring trials for which you could signup, but then you would need to cancel. If you want more information on this topic, I would read the information provided by Moolanomy. I really enjoy reading the financial tips and tricks presented on his website.

You now have some resources to get your credit reports and two of your credit scores for free. Next week, I will cover how I review my credit report searching for errors.

Credit Score: Free Experian

Photograph Credit: Microsoft Images

Did you request your free credit report(s)? If you requested by phone, then you may still be waiting for those reports to be delivered. While you’re waiting, you can view your credit score for free.

According to My FICO, the three types of FICO (which stands for Fair Isaac Corporation – the company that creates the software for the credit bureaus) credit scores from the three credit bureaus are: the Experian/Fair Isaac Risk Model score from Experian, the EMPIRICA score from TransUnion, and the BEACON score from Equifax. I will share today how I get our Experian score for free.

What is a credit score? Your credit score is calculated based on the information in your credit report. Having an accurate credit report with Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion will give you accurate credit scores.

This score is determined from your past and current accounts to help lenders make a decision on extending credit to you.  If you needed to open a credit card, line of credit, car loan, etc., then the company with which you desire to borrow money will ask to pull your credit score. Usually companies have a predetermined number to which they will extend credit.

Your score will increase and decrease in point value based on a number of items:

1. How many times your credit is checked? You can check it as often as you like without affecting your score. But each time there is a hard pull from a possible lender, you can lose up to 3 points. If you are looking for a lender, then only allow businesses you are seriously considering to pull your credit. This same principle applies to credit cards. Be sure you will use that Sears card before allowing the employee to pull your credit during the credit card application.

2. How many times you were late with a payment? Having a delinquent account will hinder your score. If you find errors on your credit report, then address them immediately with the creditor.

3. How long your oldest account has been active? Creditors like to see that you have accounts in good standing for long periods of time. Over ten years is a great goal. If you find that your oldest account is just lying around and not being used, then put it away safely. DO NOT CLOSE THAT ACCOUNT. You want to keep your oldest account open, active, and in good standing.

4. The debt owed to available credit ratio. Your score will increase if you have more available credit through your credit limits than you have debt. If you are considering closing an account that has a $10,000 credit limit, you might want to consider how closing that account will influence your credit score.

Though I am not an expert in this field, I have researched to find how to keep my finances in check. I am just sharing what I have learned along the way. My goal is to make sure my credit reports are accurate and that my credit score is in good, very good, or excellent status. In the event I need to refinance my home, I am already in a good financial position to move forward.

OK, enough about what the credit score is and why it is important . . . let’s get your credit score for free!

If you are following the schedule I use, then you may have requested an Experian report. Since I choose to request via telephone, I have to wait 2-3 weeks before the report is delivered to my mailbox. If you live in a neighborhood with mail theft, dislike paperwork, or prefer the immediate on-line version, then you could download your Experian annual credit report and credit score at the same time from www.Quizzle.com.

NEW INFORMATION ADDED on April 22, 2012: This Update on Quizzle article gives the most current information regarding requesting your free Experian score through Quizzle.

TIP: If you have already requested your report from www.AnnualCreditReport.com, then don’t request your credit report from www.Quizzle.com. You will be charged a fee since you already have one free report for the year.

SIDE NOTE: I am extremely careful with our social security numbers. So, I do not make a practice of giving out our numbers on-line or over the phone. However, if I have to give it, then I prefer over the phone. At a later time, I will share how I put passwords on our accounts to circumvent using our social security numbers for identification. Currently Quizzle is advertising no social security number required. You can make your own decision how to proceed. I am just passing along the information I have gained along the way.

What is Quizzle? Besides a funny sounding name, it is a free service to help you manage your money. In addition to providing your free Experian credit report and Experian credit score, you can also view a snapshot of your financial situation. I find it useful to see how we are doing and where we can improve.

Unlike your credit report, your credit score can be checked as often as you like. After you register with Quizzle, you will only need to log-in to check your score and overview of your accounts. This service is useful if you have already pulled your credit report for the year, and you closed an account.

You can see that your account was closed by pulling your credit report from a different agency (i.e. Equifax or TransUnion). Then you can see how your credit score was affected by logging into your Quizzle account. I really like the checks and balances that Quizzle helps me keep with our finances.

I first heard of Quizzle from Moolanomy’s post here. He gives a good explanation of the free service. I have registered with Quizzle, and I do get e-mail reminders and advertisements.  (Remember, it is free).

How do I use Quizzle? I wait to use Quizzle until I have Paul’s Experian credit report in hand, and I review it for errors. When I am sure all the information is correct, then I log-in to Quizzle and choose “get my credit score.” The score will be generated immediately, and then I view, scan, and print it. I also review our big picture to see how we are doing.

ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: Experian uses a 360-840 scale rather than the usual 300-850 scale. Most individuals will rank between 650 to 750, where 700 is good, 750 is very good, and everything above 800 is excellent.

Once I print the credit score and the overview, I staple them together, and place it behind Paul’s current Experian credit report. I then place both the credit report and the score paperwork into File Box #1, the front pocket labeled Credit Reports/Card documents. I then put the file away until the next credit report arrives.

Next week, I will share how I get our TransUnion credit scores for free as well!