Prepare yourself for your next loan or credit card application by reviewing your credit report and score.
Ultimately, the best rates and terms come down to your credit score, a figure that calculates your debt and credit habits into a three-digit number. Knowing what’s on your credit report gives you a chance to fix or improve any red flags in your finances.
If you’re concerned about your credit score and want to know the specific number that potential lenders see when you apply for a loan, you can turn to a credit reporting agency like Equifax.
What is Equifax?
Founded in Atlanta in 1899, Equifax is one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the world. It’s among the three major credit reporting bureaus in the US along with Experian and TransUnion.
Equifax keeps an eye on your overall credit report, monitoring applications for loans and credit cards, your repayment history, plus any bankruptcies or an account sold to a collection agency. It can also provides tailored verification services to businesses and the government.
How can I check my credit score with Equifax?
For $15.95, Equifax offers 30 days of access to your Equifax credit score, a number it calculates using a proprietary algorithm. You get to see your score and a review of what’s great and not so great in your current credit report.
You’ll also have access to customer service reps who can guide you toward next steps to fix the flags Equifax uncovers.
Will checking my credit score negatively affect my overall report?
No. When you check your own credit score or report, it’s considered a soft pull of your credit.
How much does it cost?
|Equifax Credit Report and Score||$15.95 for 30 days|
What other services does Equifax offer?
Equifax is in the business of putting you in control of your credit, offering a range of services that include:
- Free access to your credit report. Each year, you can request a free credit report containing a breakdown of your open accounts, payment history and credit limits on cards and more.
- Free Lock and Alert. Protect yourself against ID theft by locking your credit report against unauthorized access. Easily switch it off when signing up for new credit.
- Fraud alerts and security freezes. Sign up for alerts each time a party attempts to look at your credit report or prevent access altogether with this service — subject to fees by state.
Is there a way to get my credit score for free?
Yes. Many banks offer free credit scores to cardholders and members, including Discover, Capital One and Chase — Capital One provides scores based on TransUnion data, for example. You can also sign up to a website that offers free access to your credit score in exchange for your personal information.
Pros and cons
Before signing up with Equifax, weigh its benefits against possible drawbacks.
- Get 30 days of access. Learn more about your Equifax credit score so you know what types of credit will be available to you before you apply.
- Learn more about your report. Seeing the details of each account on your credit report can give you an idea of what areas you need to focus on to increase your credit score.
- Get help when you need it. If you need help understanding your score or want to dispute what you see on your credit report, talk with a rep online or by phone.
- No subscriptions. You’ll have to pay for a new report or score if you need it a few months later.
- There’s no one score. Credit scores can vary by up to 50 points depending on the type of loan you’re applying for — auto, home or personal — which means the score you pay for may not be what a potential creditor sees.
- No FICO score. Equifax can give you an idea of what a potential creditor might see when you apply for credit. But most creditors rely on your FICO Score, not Equifax’s proprietary score.
How do I sign up?
To get started, go to Equifax’s website to select the Equifax Credit Report and Score underneath the tab titled Personal at the top of the website.
- Click Get Started, then enter your full name, contact information and identifying details — including your Social Security number and date of birth — before clicking Continue.
- Answer six multiple-choice questions to verify your identity.
- Enter your method of payment and submit.
Compare Equifax with other credit score services
Is Equifax legit?
Yes. With a history dating back nearly 120 years, Equifax is one of the three major bureaus consumers and creditors rely on for free annual credit reports and more.
That said, in 2017, Equifax admitted to a cybersecurity breach that exposed the personal details — including Social Security numbers — of some 143 million Americans. The breach was possible due to a security flaw in Equifax’s web app that authorities say the company knew about for two months, which calls into question its leadership’s overall commitment to safety. Facing a PR disaster and more than 20 lawsuits, Equifax began offering free ID protection and monitoring services to affected customers.
Equifax offers many ways to get help, but numbers and options depend on the product you’re calling about.
- Phone. For general customer service, call 1-888-548-7878. A customer service representative should be able to direct your call to the appropriate department.
- Live chat. Customer care is available online weekdays from 8 a.m. to midnight.
You’ll get a full overview of your Equifax credit report for an affordable price. However, if it’s just a credit score you’re after, Equifax can give you a ballpark idea of what future creditors might see when you apply for a loan or credit card, but it doesn’t report your FICO Score — which is more widely used by the lending community.