The 3 credit reports and scores are available to consumers at the three credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian as well as the only government authorized website, annualcreditreport.com. Getting all 3 credit reports and scores can be had at $39.95 both from Experian and Equifax or $29.95 from Equifax for the credit reports alone without the scores. If you don’t want to pay, you can use your one free credit report from the mentioned government authorized website every year but this does not come with a credit score. You can get all 3 credit reports for free but there’s a fee associated with getting all 3 credit reports and scores.
Do I really have to pay for 3 credit reports and scores?
Do you really have to pay $15 for a score? Not really. Sure, credit scores are used by creditors to see how much of a financial risk you are. It even determines whether you’ll be approved or declined for a loan and the amount of interest you’ll paying but acquiring your credit report should give you an idea of your credit worthiness.
You obviously have a bad score when you have a few late payments, have filed for bankruptcy or have other delinquencies. A credit report on the other hand that gets a good score is one with a good and long credit history with a bank or credit card company, and no late payments.
An instance when you don’t have to pay for the 3 credit reports and scores is when you have been rejected from a loan, credit or mortgage based on your credit report and score. Together with the rejection letter or better known as an adverse action letter is an explanation why you have been declined what you applied for including your credit score. Another option they will give you is a claim offer from the credit reporting bureau where the credit report and score was obtained. So even if you have already claimed your free credit reports, you can still get a copy of your credit report if you have been declined. The same is true if the lender decides to give you terms other than what you applied for.
So you don’t necessarily have to pay to get all 3 credit reports and scores. Getting your free credit report every twelve months is good enough if you are simply monitoring your records for any inaccuracies. The only instance where you would want to pay for the 3 credit reports and scores is when applying for a mortgage or loan so you can see where you stand.
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