Overview: Best 9 Sites for a Free Credit Report Without a Credit Card | Free Score & Reports
The first time you try to buy a car or rent an apartment, the importance of getting a free credit report without a credit card becomes clear.
It’s no fun to get turned down for a purchase on credit because you wondered, “How do I get my FICO score?” but never knew where to go.
It turns out that you don’t have to be in the dark about your credit; there are quite a few places you can get a free credit score without a credit card to know where you stand.
We know what you’re thinking: there always seems to be a catch. You want to know, “Where can I get a free credit score that doesn’t require me to give my credit card?”
We’ve reviewed several companies online that promote a free credit report without a credit card to bring you information on the best places you can go for a free credit report, no credit card required.
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First let’s take a look at what a FICO score is and why it’s important; then, we will review several companies that promise a free credit score, no credit card needed, and tell you which ones really come through on that promise.
How To Get My Fico Score, and Why It Is Important
The score is used widely by lenders to assess a borrower’s credit history to decide whether they should approve them for a loan and, if so, what interest rate they qualify for. Not all of the sites that offer a free credit score without a credit card are giving you this particular score.
The FICO score uses key categories to calculate the score, and each is weighted slightly differently. The higher the score, the better.
Credit Score Components:
- Payment history – 35%
- Amounts owed on credit and debt – 30%
- Length of credit history – 15%
- New credit – 10%
- Types of credit used – 10%
When looking for free credit score & credit report data (with no credit card needed), it’s important to know what a good FICO score looks like, so you know what yours means and if you need to do anything to repair your credit. The score ranges from 300 to 850, and generally, scores above 670 indicate a good FICO score.
When searching online, you’re going to find plenty of websites that will charge you to provide your credit score, but we’re going to break them all down to find the best places you can go for a truly free credit score without a credit card required.
You may want to save this list so you can refer to it later, because your credit score can change often, even if you just apply for a credit card that you don’t use. Knowing where to get a free credit report and score, no credit card required, will save you a lot over the years.
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Yes – Free credit report without a credit card:
- Credit Karma – Their offer is absolutely free, and they say they will “never ask you for your credit card or payment information.” They explain that they get paid by banks or lenders if you take advantage of any product recommendations.
- Credit Sesame – This is another site that truly does give you your free credit score without a credit card needed. They also offer a free monthly credit score with personalized savings advice.
- Wise Piggy – They provide a TransUnion free credit score no credit card needed. They also have a handy credit card comparison tool on their site.
- Quizzle – Another popular site that promises “no purchase or credit card required.” They not only provide a free credit score without a credit card, they also give you a free TransUnion credit report.
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No – “How to get my FICO score” offers that come with a catch:
- FreeScoreOnline.com – With a name like that and the banner saying “Free” at the top, you may think you’re getting a free credit score without a credit card, but that is not the case. It’s another “7-day free trial” that you need to cancel before getting charged. This one charges $39.95 per month.
- Escore – This site doesn’t make any promises of a free credit report without a credit card and has pricing listed under their Benefits section. Their memberships run from $9.95 per month to $29.95 per month.
- TrueCredit – This site is actually part of TransUnion, so when you click the blue button on the main page, you’ll be taken to the TransUnion site, where they charge $19.95 per month to see your credit score and get credit monitoring.
- FreeScoresAndMore.com – This is another site with “free” in the website address, so you may think that you’d get a free credit report and score no credit card required, but not so. It’s another site with a “free trial” that you need to cancel before getting charged. This one has a 14-day trial, with $19.95/monthly charge afterwards.
What to Watch Out For When Requesting a Free Credit Score Without a Credit Card
You may think that the risk is low to zero once you’ve found a site that gives a free credit score & credit report data, no credit card needed, but there are a few key things to watch out for. It seems that not all credit reports are created equal. Sometimes both the paid and free reports aren’t exactly what they seem to be.
Let’s take a look are some of the traps to watch out for when you’re looking to get a free credit report, no credit card required.
Different types of credit scores
An article at ABCNews.com tells the story of a consumer who purchased their “TransRisk” credit score from TransUnion, one of the three credit reporting agencies, but she didn’t know that this score is not the same as the FICO score her lender used. So when she tried to get a mortgage loan, her score was actually less than what she thought.
Knowing which score you’re getting when you look for a free credit score without a credit card is vital, because you want the one that most banks and other lenders use, which is the FICO score. There are several other types of credit scores out there that fall into the “educational score” category, which means they are made to help educate consumers about their credit worthiness, but aren’t the ones typically used by lenders.
When you look deeper into the sites listed above that truly give a free credit score, no credit card needed, you’ll find that many of them are giving you one of the non-FICO scores. Now, these can be somewhat helpful, they do give you an idea of where your credit worthiness stands, but if you’re not getting a FICO score, then it’s not going to match what a company is looking at when you apply for credit.
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Paying for the government-mandated free reports
When you are looking for the place to get that government-mandated annual free credit report without a credit card from each of the three credit bureaus, beware of sites that will try to charge you for them. The one site you can get these is AnnualCreditReport.com, which is linked from USA.gov, where you can order these completely free.
There are many websites out there that mention the government mandate for an annual report and imply that with them you can get a free credit report, no credit card needed. However, they end up signing you up for subscriptions for credit monitoring or other types of credit-related services that can hit you for big charges if you don’t cancel in time.
Confusing offers on multiple websites
One thing that many consumers may not realize when they seach out how to get a free credit report without a credit card is that many of the sites you see coming up with offers are affiliated with one of the main three credit reporting agencies. When the government gave consumers the right to get an annual free credit report, no credit card needed, they found new ways to sell credit data and services, and many of the ways they do this can be confusing.
Consumerinfo.com (website currently not working), who is affiliated with Experian, agreed to pay a $300,000 settlement to the Federal Trade Commission due to misleading information that was not disclosed properly to consumers related to their “free credit report” ads. They had also paid $950,000 in 2005 to settle similar FTC charges.
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Bottom Line for Getting Your Free Credit Score Without a Credit Card
As you can see, there are several websites that make good on their promise of a free credit score no credit card required. However, you do need to read the fine print on those sites carefully, because many of them will give you a non-FICO “educational score” when you sign up for a free credit report without a credit card, rather than the widely used FICO score that most lenders rely on.
You also need to beware of sites that may say “free credit score without a credit card” or have “free” in their name but that sign you up for a 7-day free trial for a credit service that ends up costing you if you don’t cancel in time.
The bottom line is to read the fine print and know the difference between the types when you look for a free credit score without a credit card or wonder, “How do I get my FICO score?” And don’t forget that you are entitled to a government-mandated, annual, free credit report without a credit card from each of the three credit reporting agencies, but you do need to make the request in order to receive it.
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