How to Obtain Your Credit Score for Free
A car buyer with a low credit score can end up paying over $8,000 in additional interest on a typical car loan. (See: How Your Credit Score Affects the Cost of Financing
A good credit score - typically above 740 - will ensure that you qualify for the lowest finance rates. If your credit score is below 680, the smart thing to do is to try to repair your credit before taking out a loan.
The good news: It's really easy to obtain your credit score for free. In the past, the only way to do so was to pay a fee - usually around $30.
The service I recommend is FreeCreditScore.com, run by Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus.
Of course, there's a catch: To get your free credit score, you will automatically be signed up for a 7-day free trial membership to their credit monitoring service. If you don't want to pay for the service after the 7 day trial, you can cancel by calling their support number at: 1-877-300-2506 (which I did with absolutely no problem).
The credit monitoring service they offer is actually a decent product if you're trying to build up your credit or if you simply want to protect yourself from identity theft.
After you submit your information at FreeCreditScore.com, you get to see your actual credit score which looks like this:
You can also see how your credit score stacks up against other consumers and get suggestions on how to improve it. They also provide a tool that shows you how your credit score will change depending on different factors you select, such as missing payments, going into bankruptcy, and others.
My Recommendation for Car ShoppersTrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
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About: Gregg Fidan
Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.