Long time readers will know that I request a free credit report by mail in about June, and pay for my online credit report and score in December of each year.
When I ordered my report and score this past December, I noticed that the sites of both Transunion and Equifax have become… labrynthesque, shall we say. It took me a good while to find the order forms that I was looking for, and I suspect that is because both companies want you to purchase their monthly monitoring option rather than the one time option. The monthly monitoring options were very easy to locate, by the way.
I feel most people would benefit from knowing their score on an annual or semi-annual basis, but would not suggest that the average person would need to know their credit score monthly.
- At Transunion the one-time credit profile and score page can be found here and currently costs $22.90 (down considerably from the $30.85 I paid in 2009!!) Make sure you have the box checked to obtain your score.
- At Equifax the one-time report and score can be found here and currently costs $23.95.
With both companies, you will only have online access to your score and report for one month, so it is a good idea to print out a hardcopy and save the file as a pdf.
Once you begin following your score over time, you can start to notice how your yearly activity affects your score. I rarely have hard-checks performed on my file, and pay my bill in full every month. This conservative use of credit has resulted in my score moving up about 1% per year. My score is quite high (2010 saw me improve to a score of 806 from 799 at Equifax, for example), so I think it takes more to move the needle. Someone with a lower score might see larger percentage increases after a year of good credit.
I am very interested to see my score this year, as I applied for a new credit card after I obtained my credit score… I’m looking forward to seeing where I go in 2011 as a result. I’ll have to wait until December to find out, however.
The following posts may also be of interest:
- A Primer to Credit Scores and Reports
- A Walk-through to Obtaining a Free Credit Report
- Checking Your Report for Errors
- Understanding Your Credit Report and Score (FCAC Site)