When logging into Mint.com recently, I noticed that they’ve added another benefit to their service. You can now get an Experian credit score for free once every 3 months.
What is Mint.com?
Mint.com is a free service that allows you to check the balances of almost all of your online accounts (bank, brokerage, mutual fund, credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, student loans, etc.) in one place.
It also helps you create a budget, set goals, and identify trends based on the transaction data that it downloads from the various financial institutions.
There is an online portal and a smartphone app, so you can stay up to date multiple ways. Plus, the first week of each month, you’ll receive an email of your financial summary showing the balances on your accounts as of the end of the previous month.
How do I get my free credit score?
If you haven’t already signed up for this free service, open your online account at Mint.com.
Once you’ve logged into your account, right below your Alerts, there will be an offer to sign up for Mint.com’s free credit score.
After you sign up, you will be required to verify some information to protect your identity. Then, you credit score will be provided, along with some additional information.
What other information is provided?
In addition to providing your credit score, some valuable information showing factors that go into your score are shown.
- Credit card usage – how much of your lines of credit have you used, total credit card debt vs. limits
- Payment history – percent of on-time payments and how many late payments
- Age of credit – average age of accounts and your youngest vs. oldest account
- Total accounts – how many total and how many are open vs. closed
- Credit inquiries – the total inquiries showing and the youngest vs. oldest
- Derogatory marks – total and how many are public records vs. collection accounts
In each of these categories, there are also graphs showing how you stand compared to the general population.
At the end, they will offer you to sign up for a credit monitoring service which provides monthly reports and alerts from all 3 bureaus for $16.99 per month. I wouldn’t recommend this… personally, you are better off using free tools such as this, combined with the 3 free credit reports you get from the government mandated AnnualCreditReport.com to effectively monitor your credit. Then, you can take that $200 a year and pay down debt or contribute to your emergency savings or retirement accounts.
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