If you need to make this a Thirty-second Tuesday, the long story short here is: Sign-up for an account with CreditKarma.com.
Credit Score vs. Credit Report
Your credit report is a detailed list or record of a person’s credit history. It lists dates account were opened or closed, payment history, collections, defaults, etc.
Your credit score is a calculation of your credit-worthiness based on an algorithm that analyzes credit history.
There have been many algorithms created, but FICO is the most popular.
Where do I see my credit report?
AnnualCreditReport.com is the best place to start. There are three national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, and you are entitled to one free credit report from each bureau every 12 months.
You can pull all three at once, or space them out as you see fit. However, reports will not necessarily be identical, as not every bank, agency, or company reports their data to each bureau.
Where do I get my free weekly credit score and basic credit & identity monitoring?
CreditKarma.com. It’s free to sign-up for both your score and the monitoring. The site will pull a new score up to once a week for you, and neither signing-up nor the updates will affect your score at all. You’ll also get what amounts to a mini-credit report. It doesn’t show everything, but it’s better than just a score by itself.
If you sign-up for the credit and/or identity monitoring, you’ll get e-mails whenever anything of note happens to your credit. This is especially useful for knowing if someone has created a new account in your name without your permission.
By the way, I’m not getting anything from Credit Karma – I just think they’re a good service.