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How to Check Your Credit Score Before Applying for a Mortgage

A good credit score is a must-have for many things in modern society. The most obvious is that it can make the mortgage application process go a lot more smoothly. If you aren’t ready to buy yet, it can make renting a comfortable apartment a lot easier as well. One step along the way to getting an outstanding score is in applying for credit cards. You start with easy cards like store and gas credit cards and work your way up to the major cards. If you’re about to apply for a mortgage, it can be a good idea to assess your credit score in advance. Checking your score on the Internet can be quick and painless, too.

Check Websites that Supply Credit Score Information without Charging

There are a number of credible websites that provide people with credit score information that’s 100 percent free, no strings attached. If you already have certain credit cards they will allow you to check your score online for free. For instance the Capital One Platinum card gives you access to their “Credit Checker” which is a good place to start but may not be as accurate as the FICO checker available through AMEX, Bank of America and Discover. This is the exact same system that about 90% of lenders use to make their lending decisions. So it is good to know where you stand with them. Discover allows you to use their system even if you don’t have a Discover card. Just go to CreditScoreCard.com and sign up for a free account to check your FICO score. Discover says “There’s no cost or ding to your credit. You don’t have to be a customer, and we’ll never sell your information.” They also say, “We don’t only show you your score, we show you some of what’s behind it. Things like missed payments, how much revolving credit you’re using and number of recent inquiries—some of the information lenders see when evaluating your credit. And check with confidence knowing we never sell your information.”  So it is a pretty sweet deal.

Note that use of these sites doesn’t in any way hurt your score. If you want to avoid the annoyances of credit score dings, these sites are the solution to consider. Be cautious about website selection, though. Not all sites that claim to offer free reports necessarily do. There are some sites that require all users to pay to view their scores and reports. Read the fine print thoroughly before you make any decisions. It’s particularly important to take note of sites that instantly enroll people for yearly subscriptions.

In the following video you can see some good information on where to get FICO information as well as sources for info from the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

Give These Websites Your Basic Details

Getting started with free sites that offer credit score information shouldn’t take you a lot of energy or effort. You need a valid email address in order to proceed with the signup process, first of all. You need to come up with a unique password that’s difficult or impossible for other people to guess. If you take the time to do this, you’ll be able to come back to the site later to monitor your score yet again. Remember, frequent and detail-oriented monitoring is essential for people who want to stay updated on their scores.

Fill out Some Details about Yourself

Websites that specialize in free credit scores typically request similar details from their users. Their requests may vary in a subtle manner, though. These websites in general ask for information such as your full name, your social security number’s last four digits, your birthdate and, last but not least, your mailing address. Fill these fields out in a slow and alert manner. Avoid making information mistakes. Try to avoid making any typing mistakes, too. You want to make sure that the information you provide is as precise and accurate as possible for obvious reasons. It isn’t uncommon for credit score sites to request that users manage a couple security questions. The site may pose a question to you that involves a prior street address to verify that it’s really you requesting the information. That’s really all there is to it. It’s much simpler than it was just a few years ago so you can easily check your FICO score monthly to watch for changes and to monitor that what you are doing is improving your score and not making it worse.

 

 

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