How Do I Check My Real Credit Score?

Learning how to build credit can mean the difference between qualifying for a loan with great interest rates and not qualifying for the loan at all. It can mean the difference between being approved for a rental and struggling to find a place to live! And with 60 percent of employers running credit checks, not knowing how to fix credit could cost you a job!

You can learn how to build credit by following seven simple steps:

Step One: Keep the proper credit card balance.

Did you know that your credit card balance affects your credit score? Having the wrong balance, even for a day, can Click here to get your credit report and credit score from the only place that provides the FICO score.

And beware of buying your credit score from any place that sells a consumer score! The consumer score is a generic version of your credit score, and it is useless.

It works like this: To determine your credit score, the credit-scoring bureaus apply a formula that calculates your creditworthiness. But they tailor their formula depending on who is pulling the credit report. An automobile company is more interested than a landlord in your payment history as it relates to installment loans. As such, the different bureaus apply different formula depending on who is asking for your credit report. When the consumer asks, the reporting bureaus usually provide a consumer version.

But here’s the catch: No lender will ever see your consumer score. When they pull your credit report, they will be given a FICO score, which can be dramatically different from your consumer score. In fact, the founder of 7 Steps to a 720 Credit Score, Philip Tirone, once tested this with his own score. On the same day, his consumer score was about 60 points higher than his FICO score!

With this in mind, you should never, never, never purchase a consumer score, which gives you a false sense of your credit score. Instead, you can see your true credit score and pull your credit report from this website. The accurate version of your credit score comes with a small price: FICO charges a nominal amount for both your credit score and your credit report.

Alternatively, you can pull your credit report for free once a year from the government-mandated website: Never buy your credit score from this website as it, too, will be a consumer score.