Credit scores are used for everything from getting a mortgage to getting a job. So it makes sense to know your credit score. But how to get it?
Apps that promise instant access to your score are popular, but do they work? A new survey from Consumer Reports might make you think twice before clicking to get your score.
Credit score apps like Credit Karma, Experian Credit Report, and others promise instant access to credit scores, along with other features like score monitoring. Sounds great until you dig a little deeper. Consumer Reports found that five of these apps have significant downsides and few upsides.
The survey showed that the apps can pose serious privacy risks, and even worse, a survey of consumers who used them found that in some cases the apps didn’t even provide an accurate credit score. .
Four of the five apps CR investigated often charged users for access to their credit reports, which consumers are legally entitled to for free, while not providing access to the kind of credit scores that most lenders use.
Several of the apps use VantageScore 3.0, which has limited value because many lenders don’t use it.
A Consumer Reports policy analyst said consumers should have the legal right to get a free, accurate credit score, and there’s a bill in Congress that would require it, but so far there isn’t. a vote was not scheduled.
Consumer Reports has a petition to action.consumerreports.org seeking to collect 40,000 signatures to send to Congress asking them to work on this issue a little harder and a little faster.
Consumer Reports asked the five credit application companies about their privacy, data collection and data sharing practices. Each responded by saying that they take consumer privacy very seriously and that consumer trust is paramount to their business.
Remember that there are ways to get your credit score without using a credit score app. Try to check if your bank or credit card gives you access. And you can also view your credit report every week free of charge via annualcreditreport.com.
Since your credit report impacts your credit score, be sure to check it regularly and dispute any written errors immediately.