Think again. There is no “annual credit score.” Just an annual credit report furnished by the three major credit reporting agencies.
They’re each willing to let you plant your eyes on a credit report for free once annually, but that’s about as far as they’ll go.
If you want to see your credit score too, you’ll have to pony up some greenbacks.
Why No Credit Score?
Well, the same companies that collect all your payment data each month also sell credit scores and credit score monitoring, so giving it all away for free wouldn’t be in their best interest.
There’s also the viability of so-called “free credit score” providers, many of which are backed by the credit reporting agencies, who would likely go out of business if we could all obtain a free credit score once annually.
Explain the confusion.
Well, a lot of consumers confuse the phrase “credit score” and the phrase “credit report,” so that’s problem number one.
Adding to that is the fact that the credit reporting agencies “give you the opportunity to purchase a credit score” after you receive your free annual credit report via the official AnnualCreditReport.com website.
Clearly this leads many into purchasing a credit score on top of their free credit report, though this isn’t recommended.
These companies also provide free credit scores if you sign-up for trial credit monitoring, which can easily be canceled during the trial period.
That may be a better way to go so long as you’re responsible and cancel within the trial period if you’re not interested in ongoing monitoring (how do I get my credit score?).
Tip: You will never be contacted to retrieve your annual credit report or “annual credit score” for that matter from the official website, so anyone claiming to be representing the site is fraudulent.