Track Your Credit Score and Report

Quick Look

  • Credit Report
    • Get your credit report through which will give you free access to each of the three reporting bureaus reports once per year.
    • You can get all three reports at the same time or spread them out.
    • If all the information is accurate on each report, each report from each bureau should have the same information.
  • Credit Score
    • You can often get your credit score through your bank, directly through one of the reporting bureaus, or a third party site.
    • Each source may use a slightly different scoring model (e.g. FICO, Vantage) but they are all based on the information in your credit report.
    • The scores may not be identical but they should be close.


Credit Report

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says to get your credit report from Specifically, the FTC says, “The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.”

Your credit score and your credit report are two different things.

Since you can get a copy of your report from each company once annually, and since the report should have the same information across all three if it’s accurate, we recommend getting a new report from each company every four months. It should only take a few minutes to review so doing this three times a year shouldn’t be a problem. 

Credit Score

There are different formulas for calculating a credit score but the main two are FICO and Vantage. Fortunately, the score range is the same for both (300 – 850) and both formulas are based on information coming from your credit report. This means, regardless of the formula used, or which company you’re getting your score from, it shouldn’t vary too much.

There are three places you can get your score from.

  • Your Bank: If you already have a credit card from a given bank, there’s a good chance they have a place where you can see your credit score. Simply login and see if they promote “FICO” or “Vantage” or “Credit Score” anywhere on the site.

    The good thing about getting your score through your bank is you don’t have to create a separate account to check it and you already visit that site regularly. For these reasons this is our recommended method for checking your score.
  • A Credit Bureau: You can create a free account with Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion to see your credit score. The benefit of this is that if you’re going to have your credit checked by a potential lender, and you know the bureau they will use (although, sometimes they’ll check all three), having an account with that credit bureau gives you visibility into the score and report the lender will see.

    The downside about the three bureaus sites is that they might charge you a fee to see your score (it’s usually only a $1). Even more annoyingly, their sites try really hard to get you to sign up for all kinds of other products you probably don’t need. This can make the process of getting your score annoying. Don’t be fooled and sign up for extra services or pay for something you could probably get for free elsewhere. 
  • A Third Party: There are dozens of sites that will show your score for free. You’ve probably seen the advertisements too.,, and Discover Scorecard are just a few examples. These are all reputable sites and they each have a few features you may like too.

    The downside to these sites is that they make their money through advertising when you see an ad or click through on one. Because of this, they do everything they can to target you with products they think you’ll sign up for. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (you may actually find some great offers). But if you’re the type of person that may be tempted based on offers for “cash back” or credit card rewards, you may want to get your score elsewhere.


There’s no right or wrong place to get your score as long as it’s from a reputable site and it’s convenient for you. You’ll probably want to check your score at least once a month so using a site that’s easy to navigate and explains your score well is just about as important as anything else.

Share this content!

MoneySwell’s content and action plans are designed for educational purposes only. Please read our Terms of Service for more information.