Your credit score is a very important number to know and understand. The terms on just about every credit card, personal loan or mortgage you apply for are influenced by those three little digits. Lenders look at your credit score as shorthand to determine how risky or reliable you are as a borrower, so you should get into the habit of checking it often.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the different ways you can check your credit score — whether you’re an individual or a business.
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How to check my credit score
Before we dive in, you should know that you actually have several different types of credit scores. FICO scores and VantageScores are by far the most common ones — and these are further broken down into other versions that are used by separate lending industries. The best way to think of them is as brand names. FICO scores and VantageScores are the Walmarts and Targets of credit scores, if you will.
Checking your credit score(s) often is a smart money move. Doing so won’t affect your score at all — simply looking at your own credit is what’s referred to in credit inquiry terms as a “soft inquiry”. In contrast, when you’re applying for a loan and the lender pulls your credit information, that’s called a “hard inquiry,” and that may affect your score temporarily.
What’s more, it is becoming easier to check your credit score. In some cases, it’s automatic. In many cases, it’s free. Sometimes companies will still try to get you to pay for your credit score. It’s not a scam per se, but with all the free options out there, we’re hard pressed to find a legitimate reason you’d need to pay anymore.
Here are several ways to check your credit score. (Hint: It’s not going to be on your credit report.)
Check your credit card statement
If you have a credit card, your credit score may be included in your monthly statements that you barely glance at.
Credit card statements typically include the basic boring information about your credit card’s purchase history, interest rates and monthly balance. But, …….