Where to find your credit score

Where to find your credit scoreManaging one's personal finances cannot be effectively done without knowledge of his or her credit score. This number determines nearly all of an individual's financial well-being, therefore it is necessary to keep up-to-date with this pertinent information – but where can it be found?

Everyone's credit history, which consists of five factors that calculate the final score, is reported to the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each bureau has a different score and contains three different credit reports. It is wise to obtain all records because various companies may not give information to all bureaus and it is essential to make sure that one's credit history is correct with each financial agency.

In some cases, low scores may be attributed to errors in the report. Victims of identify theft are often left with bad credit, which can affect their ability to obtain a car loan or low interest rate, and they are encouraged to file a claim with the bureau immediately.

Each person is entitled to a free annual credit report from each bureau, however, getting the actual score can cost up to $20. When shopping for a vehicle loan, check with the bank to see which type of score it will use so the consumer can decide which bureau to purchase his or her report from.