(Consumer Reports) – Credit scores are used for everything from getting a mortgage to getting a job. So it makes sense to know your credit score. But how do you get it? Apps that promise instant access to your score are popular, but do they work? A new Consumer Reports survey might make you think twice before you click to get your score.
Credit score apps like Credit Karma, Experian Credit Report, and others promise instant access to credit scores, as well as other features like score monitoring. It sounds good until you dig a little deeper. Consumer Reports found that five popular credit score apps have significant drawbacks and few benefits.
CR’s investigation showed that apps can pose serious privacy risks, and even worse, a survey of consumers who used them found that in some cases, apps didn’t even provide a credit score. precise. Four of the five apps CR was investigated often charge users for access to their credit reports, which consumers are legally entitled to access for free, while not providing access to the type of credit report. credit scores that most lenders use. Several applications use the VantageScore 3.0, which is of limited value as many lenders do not use it. They use FICO scores.
Consumer Reports political analyst says consumers should have the right to get a free and accurate credit score, and a bill in Congress would require it, but so far it has not been planned to vote.
CR has a petition at action.consumerreports.org seeking to collect 40,000 signatures to send to Congress asking them to work on this issue a little harder and a little faster.
CR surveyed the five credit application companies about their privacy, data collection and data sharing practices. Each responded, saying they take consumer privacy very seriously and that consumer trust is paramount to their business.
Remember that there are ways to get your credit score without using a credit score app. Try to check if your bank or credit card offers you access. You can also check your credit report weekly at no charge through AnnualCreditReport.com. Since your credit report has an impact on your credit score, be sure to check it regularly and dispute any clerical errors immediately.