How to Check Your Credit Score
for Free in 2 Minutes

John S Kiernan, Senior Writer & Editor

January 2019

You can check your credit score for free ( in less than two minutes on WalletHub, the only site with free daily updates. Just quickly confirm your identity, and you’ll get access to your latest VantageScore 3.0 credit score, based on your TransUnion credit report.

From free credit score websites like WalletHub to credit card companies that offer free monthly credit scores to their customers or the general public, there are plenty of places to do a credit check these days.

So the problem is not how to check your credit score. That’s the simple part. You can check your score for free at any time, on any device – including your smart phone and tablet.

Where you should get it and whether you’re seeing the latest information are a lot less clear. Some free credit scores are updated far more frequently than others. The services you get along with free scores vary, too.


Why You Should Check Your Credit Score

It’s always good to brush up on the benefits of checking your credit score. And in short, checking your credit is important because it:

  • Gives you a good sense of your financial fitness providing a numerical grade for the contents of your credit reports;

  • Helps you get the best possible credit card and loan terms, and reduces the likelihood of rejection;

  • Makes comparing financial products easier, as most offers list a minimum level of credit (e.g., Excellent, Good, Bad) needed to qualify; and

  • Tells you how closely you need to review your credit reports. A score that is much lower than you’d expect is an obvious red flag, perhaps indicating potential fraud.

Finally, it’s important to remember that virtually everyone has room for credit score improvement. And a better credit score could be worth thousands of dollars per year.

Plus, tending to your score doesn’t have to cost you a dime or much time. So check out our handy credit improvement tips to get started.

And if you’d like advice tailored to your specific situation, sign up for a free WalletHub account to get your personalized credit analysis. That’s just another reason why you should check your credit score on WalletHub.


Credit Score Provider Cost Scores Updates... Free Credit Report? 24/7 Credit Monitoring WalletHub User Rating
WalletHub Free Daily Yes Yes 5 Stars
Credit Sesame Free Monthly No Yes 4.5 Stars
Capital One Free Monthly No Yes 4.0 Stars
Credit Karma Free Weekly Yes Yes 4.5 Stars
Discover Free Monthly No No 4.0 Stars
Mint Free Every 3 Months No Yes 4.5 Stars
Experian $21.95/mo. Monthly Yes Yes 4.0 Stars
Equifax $19.95/mo. Monthly Yes Yes 4.5 Stars $19.95/mo. Monthly Yes Yes 4.5 Stars
AARP $12.99/mo. Monthly Yes Yes No Rating

Note: Some providers with paid services offer free trials. For simplicity, we did not list that information in the table above.

For more information about where you can get your credit score, check out our complete list of the best credit score sites.


Which Credit Score Should You Check?

Most people don’t know it, but we each have many different credit scores–more than 1,000, according to some estimates.

But the truth is it doesn’t really matter which one you check, as long as it’s free and from a reputable source.

There are a couple of important reasons for that:

  • Similar Results: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found a 90% correlation among a selection of the most common credit score models. So if you get credit scores from two different providers, the numbers are likely to be extremely close, if not identical.

  • Hard to Get a Lender’s Exact Score: It’s often impossible to predict exactly what type of credit score a lender will use, especially since many lenders customize over the counter credit score models to suit their particular needs. If you can’t get the specific type of score your lender of choice is going to use to evaluate your application, there’s really no reason to be picky.

You can learn more about all of this from our article on why there is no “real” credit score. For what it’s worth, WalletHub’s free credit scores are based on the VantageScore 3.0 model. VantageScore 3.0 is one of the most popular types of credit scores among lenders. And it is considered by some to be the most predictive credit score available.


Credit-Checking Tips

  • In evaluating how well a city is run, what are the top five indicators?

  • How can local policymakers reduce racial tensions in the wake of recent movements?

Paul F. Goebel Director of the Student Money Management Center
at the University of North Texas


How much easier is it for people to check their credit scores
now than it was 5–10 years ago?

It is definitely far easier for people to check their credit scores now than it was 5-10 years ago. In fact, many financial institutions and credit card companies provide their customers with the information at no charge. There are several online sites that also offer this at no cost.


Is there ever a reason to pay to check your credit score?

Ideally, no. However, the Fair Credit Reporting Act does allow companies to charge you to see your score, so in some cases you might not have a choice.


Which benefits a consumer more: daily credit score updates based on one bureau’s credit reports or weekly updates based on two bureaus’ reports?

It depends. Staying informed is the ideal. Each person needs to decide on the best way to stay informed, whether by a daily credit score update on one bureau’s report or weekly updates based on two bureaus’ reports works for them.

I personally keep myself informed by staggering and reviewing a credit report from one bureau every four months. I also respond without delay whenever I am notified of a possible unauthorized access has occurred involving my personal information. The best rule of thumb is to stay informed and do not procrastinate whenever you are notified of any unauthorized incident.


What is the biggest mistake that people make in regards to checking their credit scores?

From our experiences with college students, the most common mistake we see young people making in regard to their credit scores is assuming that their personal information, as maintained by the credit bureaus, is invincible from being hacked. The recent Equinox data breach is a perfect case study of why we need better data breach laws, and an ever evolving security technology employed by all sites where personal information is stored.


Julie Kalkowski Executive Director of the Financial Hope Collaborative
at Creighton University


How much easier is it for people to check their credit scores now than it was 5-10 years ago?

Due to recent changes in regulations regarding the financial services industry, it is much easier to check your credit score than it was 10 years ago. Instead of wondering why you were turned down for a loan, you can now ask to see your credit score, and the lender is required to show it to you.

Some banks and credit card companies also provide your credit score if you request it. Consumers can also go online to to request a free copy of their credit report. This is the only site where you can get a free copy of your credit score once a year from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.


Is there ever a reason to pay to check your credit score?

If you have already pulled your free credit report for the year, there generally is no reason to pay to check your credit score. On rare occasions, you might want to pay for your credit score if you are applying for a job and a low credit score would knock you out of the running.

Yes, you are right if you say employers are not supposed to be able to pull your credit score for the purpose of eliminating you as a candidate. However, this still happens in my neck of woods (the Midwest). So, if you think your credit score could hurt your job prospects, this might be the one reason you would pay for your credit score. Otherwise, you should be able to work your way around it by using free credit scores options, instead of dishing out your hard earned money.


Which benefits a consumer more: daily credit score updates based on one bureau’s credit reports or weekly updates based on two bureaus’ reports?

Checking your credit score daily is a lot like weighing yourself every day. You are setting yourself up for disappointment. While it is important to track both your weight and credit score, every other week is much better than daily.

You need to remember that credit scores do not go up overnight once a debt is paid in full. It takes a month or two to update your report, so constantly checking your score adds to your anxiety and you probably already have enough other things to worry about.

However, if your credit report does not reflect payments made in full after 60 days, you need to take action. Send a copy of your debt settlement letter from your creditor to the credit bureaus so they can remove this debt from your credit report.


What is the biggest mistake that people make in regards to checking their credit scores?

The biggest mistake people make in regards to their credit score is not checking their credit score at all. Avoiding your credit report is not going to make it go away. In fact, it can hurt you and keep you stuck.

You need to know what is on your credit report so you can begin to fix it. In many communities, where you live and where you work depends on your credit score. The higher your credit score, the better your job opportunities and housing prospects are. You also need to check your credit score to make sure no one has stolen your identity.