By federal law, you are entitled to receive one free credit report annually from each of the three main credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
If you want to know what your Experian PLUS Score is, you typically have to order your credit report directly from Experian. That will cost you money, because Experian does charge you for the credit report – though once you buy the credit report, they’ll give you the Experian PLUS Score at no charge.
But read on for another way in which you can obtain your Experian PLUS score at no cost whatsoever.
Getting a Free Experian Credit Report and/or an Experian PLUS Score Free
If you only want to get your free Experian credit report, here is what you need to do:
Order your free credit report. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 to order your credit report from Experian. You will need to indicate that you only want your Experian credit report at this time. You still have the option to order one free credit report every 12 months from the other two credit bureaus.
To get a free Experian PLUS score you have two options:
1. Pay for a credit report and get a free credit score. If you’ve already gotten your free Experian credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com – perhaps you got one several months ago – you can still get another Experian report. But you’ll have to pay for it. You can buy your Experian credit report by going to Experian’s own site, at http://Experian.com. And when you buy an Experian report (it now costs $14.95), the company throws in an Experian PLUS score at no charge.
2. Get a free Experian report through a bank or credit card issuer. As an alternative to buying a credit report as a way to get a free Experian PLUS score, you can try to get a free score through a bank, credit union or financial institution you’re already doing business with. Some credit card companies extend special offers during the year to cardholders for a free credit report and/or a free credit score. You can sometimes order your credit report(s) and get your Experian PLUS Score for free by registering for these offers and promotions. So check with your credit card issuer, bank or credit union to see if they are offering free Experian credit reports with the PLUS Score at no charge.
Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions act (FACT Act), you are also entitled to receive a free credit file disclosure directly from the credit bureaus if you:
Have been denied credit because of information that was on your credit report
Are receiving public welfare assistance
Are aware that your credit report is inaccurate because of fraud or identity theft
Elements of Your Experian PLUS Score
Keep in mind that some lenders use a generic score or a custom score developed by the individual lender. Your Experian PLUS Score is calculated based on several elements of your credit report, including your payment history, the number of inquiries or new applications for credit you’ve had recently, and the amount of debt you are carrying. Your PLUS Score can give you some indication of your credit standing and can be helpful when you’re applying for a loan or a new line of credit.
The Experian PLUS Score is calculated differently than the FICO Score and other credit scores, and therefore you might have one credit score from one company and another credit score under a different scoring model. The PLUS Score ranges from 330 to 830. Meanwhile, FICO scores range from 300 to 850 points. In all credit scoring models, the higher the score, the better your chances of obtaining credit – and getting a good interest rate.
No matter how you get your credit reports and scores – whether you pay for them or get the free – remember to make sure that there are no errors or omissions on your credit reports. Mistakes can have a negative impact on your credit score. If you do notice mistakes, you will need to contact the creditor to fix the problems and then follow up with Experian (and/or the other credit bureaus too) to make the necessary changes.
All information on this blog is for educational purposes only. Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach, is not a certified financial planner, registered investment adviser, or attorney. If you need specialty financial, investment or legal advice, please consult the appropriate professional. Advertising Disclosure: This site may accept advertising, affiliate payments or other forms of compensation from companies mentioned in articles. This compensation may impact how and where products and companies appear on this site. AskTheMoneyCoach™ and Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach® are trademarks of TheMoneyCoach.net, LLC.