Can I obtain my credit scores from the credit bureaus for free, or do i have to pay for them?

Consumers can get their credit REPORTS for free once per year, from the three credit bureaus, through a website set up for that purpose: www.annualcreditreport.com. It's recommended that all consumers check their credit reports at least once per year, to check for mistakes or possible fraud.

Consumers can then dispute any inaccurace items on their credit reports, to the credit bureaus. Otherwise inaccurate, derogatory items can harm credit scores unnecessarily.

But credit SCORES have not historically been for free to consumers, at least not without going to a third-party site like creditkarma.com. Third party sites may try to sell the consumer other products and services. And the third-party sites' scores are not the same as the ones that the creditors see, when they pay for and obtain your scores through Fair Isaac.

Recently some lenders have begun providing free credit scores to consumers. If you have a relationship with one of these lenders, you likely are receiving free credit scores as part of your monthly bill, or you may have to log on to the lenders' websites to obtain your free credit scores.

If you do not have access to free credit scores, you can buy your scores at www.myfico.com, or at the websites of the individual credit bureaus.

J Thomas Black
Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization