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October 13, 2009

Free credit score at No, not really is getting a lot of buzz lately, particularly after being mentioned by Clark Howard as a place consumers can get their credit score for free.  While consumers can purportedly get a free credit score once every six months, the problem is that its not a credit score that actually used by lenders. 

In other words, is about as useful as say ... I don't know ... me telling you faithful readers what your credit scores are.  You right there, your score is 684.  You over there, your score is 575.  You in the red shirt, yours is 702.  Guess what, my credit scoring model is not used by lenders either, so its just as useless as's score. 

Don't take this to mean that I am suggesting buying your score from one of the credit bureaus like Experian, Equifax or Trans Union.  Oh, much to the contrary, that would be even worse.  Then you would be paying for a score that's also not used by lenders.  That's right, folks, lenders don't use the big three's credit scores either. 

Lenders typically do one of two things - they either set their own criteria for what's important to them, which means that particular lender's scoring model is unique.  Or lenders use one of the pre-made scoring models, such as Fair Isaac's scoring model.  So if you really want to get your credit score that could actually be a credit score that a lender might use, then you should buy your score from Fair Isaac by going to  The basic credit report (from Equifax or Trans Union) and FICO's scoring model costs $15.95.  The myfico website touts this score as one "lenders use".


  1. Hi Chris! My name is Ann-Marie and I work at Quizzle. While I appreciate your concern about the free credit score we offer, I wanted to let you know that we just made the switch to a new scoring model that tracks very closely with industry-leading scores.

    The score we offer in Quizzle is meant to help people get a good understanding of where they stand on their credit and finances. We pay for the credit report and score on behalf of each of our users because we believe you're entitled to information about, well, you! We picked the score we did because it's a quality score and aligns very closely with scores that creditors and lenders use.

    We offer a FREE solution for those who want a very strong understanding of their credit situation, plus advice on what goes into your credit report and score, and how to improve it. If you or your readers have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at annmarie[at]quizzle[dot]com.

  2. Ann-Marie, thanks for the response. While I may not agree completely with the value of Quizzle's score, at least its priced right (unlike the CRA's!). And I do appreciate and agree with Quizzle's position that consumers should be entitled to see the information being reported about them.

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. Chris, I wonder if you have any opinion on Credit Karma's free credit scoring:


  4. Marie, you ask a good question. One that deserves a good answer. Instead of answering here, I'll review Credit Karma's website and report my findings in a new post. So please stay tuned.


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  6. Hi,

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  8. i received a credit score from quizzle and was about to sign up with them for 25.00 a month until i read these comments. they say my credit score is 552 i am trying to accomplish a short sale on a property only have 22,500.00 in savings and a gross annual income of 47,928 year. Is there any help out there for me?

  9. I'm no loan officer, but I would think you need a higher credit score to qualify. You should check your score on and then work on getting it higher. Good luck!

  10. You make sense out of the most complex topics.
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