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.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid