Monitor Your Credit Score for Free — Well, Almost

Unless your time is as valuable as that of Warren Buffett, who makes millions each second passing by, it does not makes sense for you to use a so called credit-monitoring service that can charge $15 a month or more.

In another word, You should track your credit file by yourself.  Everybody knows, but it worth repeating, you can get a report from each of the three bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — free every year at AnnualCreditReport.com.

I just visited the site and got mine.

The drawback is that free reports provided by the site do not give you the credit scores explicitly.  It provides you with reports listing all the credit facts but no credit scores.  If you want to see the magic number, you need to pay a fee of $7.95, fill and mail a form. They will then send you a paper report.  The waiting period is about 15 days, according to the site.

I just paid my fees and sent in my paper report request.  I guess somewhere along the line one has to pay something.  We all have to make a living.

If seeing your credit file once every year does not give you the sense of security, you can stagger your request and get a report from one of the three bureaus every four months.

If that is still not frequent enough for you, a couple of sites will send updates from the credit bureaus free.   Credit Karma  provides free daily monitoring of your TransUnion report. Credit Sesame has a similar tool, which tracks data on your Experian report daily and will send you an e-mail alert if anything suspicious appears.

These later two sites also provide information on credit score for free, absolutely free.  I have not figured out what is the catch yet.

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