Raleigh, North Carolina – Credit scores are used for everything from getting a mortgage to getting a job.
It makes sense to know which one is yours, but as 5 On Your Side’s Monica Laliberte reports, credit score apps may not give you what you think you’re getting.
We’re talking about apps through companies like Credit Karma, Experian Credit Report, and others.
They promise your credit score in an instant, some even offer score tracking.
Everything looks good, but dig a little deeper and Consumer Reports says that while the apps have a few advantages, all of them have significant drawbacks.
“Our investigation showed that apps can pose serious privacy risks, and even worse, our survey of consumers who used them found that in some cases they did not even provide an accurate credit score,” said Lisa Gill of Consumer Reports. “Several of the apps use VantageScore 3.0, which is really of limited value as a lot of lenders don’t.”
When it comes to privacy, CR says apps collect and share more data about you than necessary for work, primarily so they can sell you other products and services.
Four of the five CR apps looked at users being charged for their credit report, something you can get for free.
Your credit report is your detailed, free credit history via annualcreditreport.com.
Currently, there is no similar access to your credit score, but you may not be able to get it through your bank or credit card company.
Consumer Reports is pushing for free access.
There is a bill in Congress, but so far it has not been scheduled for a vote.
CR also 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.
And a reminder from 5 On Your Side: Since your credit report has an impact on your credit score, be sure to review your report regularly and dispute any errors on the report, in writing, immediately.