Plenty of places will give you your credit score, but not all of them are reliable and none is free. Of the three credit bureaus, for example, only Equifax sells the ubiquitous FICO score (developed by Fair Isaac) that 95% of lenders use.
Get your money's worth at Fair Isaac's Web site, myFICO.com. The site explains why your score is good or bad, simulates how it might change and offers customer support.
1. Log on to www.myFICO.com. Under "Products," select FICO Credit Complete ($47.85 for scores and reports from each of the three credit bureaus).
2. Create an account by entering your personal information, including your Social Security number and birth date. Pay by credit card or choose the Bill Me Later option.
3. To verify your identity, answer a few questions relating to information in your credit file that only you would know, such as the payment on your mortgage.
4. Print out your scores and reports and save them for your records.
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