Most lenders use your FICO scores to determine your credit worthiness, but typically it costs you money to retrieve your own score. You have three FICO scores (one from each major credit bureau) based on the information each bureau keeps on file about you. If you don't want to shell out cash every time you have the urge to check your score, there's a solution for you. To find out what it is,
Ron Shevlin, a senior analyst at research-advisory firm Aite Group LLC, suggests using CreditKarma.com because it "offers a truly free score and advice on how to improve it." According to the Wall Street Journal, CreditKarma works like this: Enter personal information (but no credit card details). The site will use your social security number to get your TransUnion generated score. The site will also show you how your score stacks up against other users and will help identify the major influences on your score.
If you're not in a situation that necessitates knowing all of your FICO scores, and simply want to keep track of your credit, CreditKarma could be a good resource. Don't rely on this avenue alone for keeping an eye on your finances and be sure to take advantage of your free annual credit reports. Shevlin warns that we should expect credit card advertisements on the site — that doesn't mean you should click on them.