Get access to your credit report and the gold standard of scoring: Your FICO Score.
By now, you likely know that your credit report differs from the three-digit score creditors and lenders attach to them. The lending industry uses many different scores to determine the risk of taking you on as a borrower.
One of the three main credit reporting bureaus in the US, Experian provides one-time and ongoing access to your credit reports and the gold standard of scoring: Your FICO Score.
What is Experian?
Experian is among the three major credit reporting agencies in the US, monitoring the financial histories of some 220 million Americans.
In addition to providing free annual credit reports, Experian offers tools that help people and businesses protect their financial data to minimize identity theft and credit fraud.
How can I check my credit score with Experian?
Experian offers three services — Experian CreditWorks Premium, Experian Credit Report and FICO Score and 3-Bureau Credit Report and FICO Scores — to monitor your credit score including what in your credit history helps your score and what might need improvement.
All of its services use the FICO Score 8 model to determine the score it reports, which is the one most widely used by lenders and creditors.
Compare each Experian service
This monthly subscription service allows you to monitor your FICO Score and access industry scores like FICO Auto Scores and FICO Bankcard Scores. Along with your scores, you’ll see a breakdown of factors — the good and the bad — that affect your score, including your payment history, overall debt amounts and account mix.
To help improve your score, you’ll get tracking tools and alerts when your score changes, as well as access to your credit reports each month. And you can lock access to your credit history through Experian CreditLock, keeping thieves away from your information.
For access without a long-term commitment, you can sign up for the Experian Credit Report and FICO Score to get one-time access to your Experian credit report and FICO score. You can view all of the accounts reported on your report, how well you’ve been managing your overall credit and debt and see who’s been looking at your report.
If you see inaccuracies, you can use the Experian Dispute Center to submit and track your disputes online.
The 3-Bureau Credit Report and FICO Scores gives you one-time access to your Experian, Equifax and TransUnion FICO Scores, along with a comparison and breakdown of your credit reports across these three major reporting bureaus.
Armed with a complete picture of the financial details a future creditor might see, you can speak with a support rep to learn more about how you can improve your risk level.
What is FICO Score 8?
Among the many proprietary FICO Scores, FICO Score 8 more strongly considers your credit utilization while also weighing less heavily the sporadic late payment or small-dollar collections accounts on your record. It also excludes shared accounts from reflecting on your overall credit history.
Experian claims the model it uses to determine your FICO Score 8 results in a score that better predicts your future financial behaviors.
How much does it cost?
|Experian CreditWorks Premium||$4.99 for the first month and $24.99 each additional month|
|Experian Credit Report and FICO Score||One-time $19.99 fee|
|3-Bureau Credit Report and FICO Scores||One-time $39.99 fee|
What other services does Experian offer?
Like the other major credit reporting bureaus, Experian aims to provide you control over your financial information, offering services that include:
- Free access to your credit report. Request a monthly look at your credit report to analyze open accounts, your payment history and credit limits.
- IdentityWorks. Thwart ID theft through 24/7 monitoring and alerts anytime there’s a change to your three credit reports.
- Free support and education. Get help with credit disputes, learn how to control your personal info on the web and find tools to stay on top of personal finance.
Is there a way to get my credit score for free?
Yes. Many banks offer credit score access whether you’re a cardholder or not, including Discover, Capital One and Chase.
Pros and cons
Experian can help you save time by allowing access to your credit history through all three reporting bureaus. But you’ll want to weigh whether the convenience is worth the cost.
- Flexible options. Sign up for ongoing access to your FICO Score and reports, or take a one-time look before applying for a loan.
- Reports FICO Score. Unlike other bureaus, Experian reports the score most widely used by the lending community.
- Easy-to-use dashboard. Conveniently compare your financial information across the three bureaus, learning what’s affecting your score.
- Not your cheapest option. While you might find services valuable, an annual subscription with CreditWorks will run you about $280.
- You must cancel by phone. You can sign up for services online, but you’ll need to speak with an Experian rep to cancel ongoing charges.
How do I sign up?
To sign up for Experian’s credit score and monitoring services, go to its site and click Reports & Scores.
From there, you’ll be able to decide which service you’re interested in — monthly or annually. Next, you’ll enter such information as:
- Your full name and contact information, including your phone number and email address.
- Your Social Security number and date of birth.
- Your payment information.
For subscriptions, you’ll create a user name and password for future access. You also need to answer additional security questions to verify your identity.
Compare Experian with other credit score services
Is Experian legit?
Yes. Experian is an established credit reporting agency that’s among the top three used by lenders when determining whether to take you on as a borrower.
To avoid signing up for services you’re not interested in, read the fine print on each page before confirming your information. Make sure you understand the charges you face — including what you’ll pay after any introductory months.
Help is available by phone or online to help you resolve questions with your credit report, membership, disputes and more:
- Phone. Reps are available at 479-343-6239 weekdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. PT and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. For disputes, call 888-397-3742.
- Online. Start your query from Experian’s Contact Us page with your name and contact information.
- Help database. Find answers to common questions through the Ask Experian Team tool.
Experian appears to offer more comprehensive reporting and monitoring tools than competitors. And it gives you access to your credit score, providing a more accurate idea of the score potential creditors will see when you apply for credit.
But you’ll pay nearly $20 or $40 for one-time access and up to $280 for an annual subscription.