UPDATE: This is being offered again between March 1st and April 15th, 2013.
I like free things. I like free samples at the grocery store. I love buy one, get one coupons for dinner at my favorite restaurants. But I especially love to get freebies on things I not actually want to have, but need to have. And when it comes to a credit check, I’m one of those people who needs to have it.
Free Credit Score
I’ve mentioned before that Lauren is a Wells Fargo account holder. And if you’re a Wells Fargo customer like her, then you’re eligible to receive your credit score – for free – any time between now and November 15th.
It’s part of the bank’s partnership with the American Bankers Association, which is sponsoring its 10th annual “Get Smart About Credit” Day on October 18th. Usually, you’d have to pay Wells Fargo for your credit score or credit report – but not now! Just go in to your nearest Wells Fargo branch and get a unique code from one of the bankers; you’ll use that code to get access to your credit score and report for free online.
Free Credit Check
Wells Fargo is also offering customers a free credit check between now and November. The company has pledged to spend 60,000 hours volunteering their services to educate young adults about their credit. Topics to be covered include understanding how your credit score is calculated, how your credit score impacts your borrowing power, and how to manage your finances so as to maximize your credit score.
Why You’ve Got To Check Your Credit
If you’ve ever gone to apply for a home or auto loan, only to have your application unexpectedly denied, you know why it’s so important to check your credit score regularly. But knowing your credit score isn’t enough – those three numbers, compiled by Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, the three credit rating agencies, are just a snapshot of your credit’s health at any given time.
The government’s Free Credit Reporting Act requires those credit agencies to give you a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. There are a lot of companies out there that pledge to give you access to a free copy of that report – remember that catchy jingle for FreeCreditReport.com? – but only one, AnnualCreditReport.com, is authorized by the government to do so. The other “free reports” often come with strings attached, like monthly credit monitoring services or identity theft coverage.
Your credit report is where you’ll see the real dirty laundry of your finances. Habitually late on a loan? Forgot about a credit card you took out in college? Your credit report has it all. But remember – it may also have mistakes, like loans you paid off but weren’t removed by the lender, or may even show evidence of identity theft or fraud. I’ve gone over my credit report annually for years on my own, but the chance to go over it with finance professionals is a great opportunity.