Credit scores are essential for many reasons. They help determine your approval odds for debt products and what interest rate you qualify for on credit cards and loans. In some instances, your credit score could also play a role in if you get approved for an apartment or mortgage, land your dream job, or what you’ll pay for car insurance.
Your credit report is equally important. The information it includes is used to calculate your credit score. So, it’s important to review it often to ensure the credit bureaus are reporting accurate information.
In this guide, you will learn how to check your credit score and credit report online for free with Experian.
What Is Experian?
Experian is a credit reporting company that offers solutions to both consumers and businesses. Consumers can use Experian to access their free credit report and score and improve their credit score by adding positive payment history to their credit report. Experian also features an online tool that matches consumers with viable credit card issuers and loan offers based on their credit profile.
What Is a Credit Score?
A credit score is a three-digit number that reflects your creditworthiness or the likelihood you’ll repay your debt and credit obligations on time.
It is calculated using the information from your credit report and ranges from 300 to 850. Here’s a breakdown of the five parts of a FICO credit score:
- Payment history (35%)
- Amounts owed or your credit utilization ratio on revolving debts (30%)
- Length of credit history (15%)
- Credit mix (10%)
- New accounts (10%)
Although 90% of lenders and creditors use the FICO scoring model to make credit decisions, the VantageScore is another type of credit score that’s relatively popular. These factors are used to calculate your VantageScore:
- Credit utilization (highly influential)
- Credit mix (highly influential)
- Payment history (moderately influential)
- New credit (less influential)
- Credit age (less influential)
What Is a Credit Report?
A credit report summarizes your credit history that conveys information about how you manage and repay a debt to prospective creditors and lenders. It consists of your personal information, account information, inquiries, and public records. Creditors and lenders use this information to decide if they should do business with you and at what cost.
Credit reports are generated by the three credit reporting agencies in the United States – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. They compile your data from information furnishers to create your credit report.
Why Should You Check Your Credit Score with Experian?
You can get your free Experian credit report, and FICO Score 8 for free in just minutes. Here are a few reasons why you should use their platform to check your score.
Understand What Affects Your Credit Score
When you log in to your free account, you can view your Experian credit file, the factors affecting your credit score, and know what to focus on to make improvements. This includes detailed information on your payment history, debt loan, length of credit history, credit mix, and credit inquiries.
Track Your Credit Score
You get an updated credit report and score every 30 days when you sign up with Experian. Track your credit score over time to analyze how your credit habits impact your score. Plus, you’ll get free credit monitoring that provides real-time alerts and helps you stay on top of any changes to your credit profile.
Boost Your Credit Score
Experian Boost is another credit-building perk available to consumers. It allows you to add positive payments for phone and utility bills to your Experian credit file to raise your score instantly. There’s no cost to use this service.
Get Credit Cards Matched for You
If you’re in the market for a new credit card or loan, Experian CreditMatch™ helps take the guesswork out of searching for the perfect products. Instead, you can input your information, and the tool will generate personalized offers from credit card companies and lenders based on your credit profile.
There’s no impact on your credit score. Plus, you can compare offers directly from the dashboard and identify the best fit before applying.
Is Experian Free?
Experian offers CreditWorksSM Basic for free, and it includes:
- Monitoring of your Experian credit report
- Monthly updates of your Experian Credit Report and FICO Score
- Experian credit score tracking
- FICO Score alerts
- Experian Boost
However, a monthly fee of $24.99 applies (following a 7-day free trial) for the CreditWorksSM Premium plan. If you enroll in this plan, you will get:
- Monitoring of your Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax reports
- Daily updates of your Experian Credit Report and FICO score
- Monthly 3-Bureau Credit Reports and FICO Scores
- Auto, Home, and Bankcard FICO Scores
- Experian credit score tracking FICO score alerts
- FICO Score Simulator
- Experian Boost
- Experian Credit Lock
- Real-time alerts for attempted credit inquiries
- Dark web surveillance and identity theft insurance of up to $1,000,000
- Access to a U.S. based fraud resolution specialist
- Lost wallet assistance
- Identity theft and monitoring alerts
Where Can You Check Your Credit Scores with Experian?
You can check your FICO credit score from Experian for free here without entering your credit card information. Credit scores for the other bureaus are available for purchase through Experian for a one-time fee of $39.99, and you also get access to your 3-bureau Credit Report.
FAQs About Experian and Credit Scores
Experian does offer a free FICO 8 score when you sign up for an online account. However, you will have to purchase other variations of your credit score (i.e., mortgage, credit card, auto loan scores).
As mentioned earlier, Experian Boost adds timely payments from your utility and phone bills to your credit report. This helps strengthen your payment history and helps you achieve a good credit score.
You can get credit reports and FICO scores for the three bureaus from Experian for a one-time fee of $39.99. There’s also live customer support available 7 days a week with this option. Plus, Experian includes information on the specific credit score factors impacting your credit health from the bureaus.
The three major credit reporting agencies are Experian, Equifax, Transunion, and Innovis.