BankingMyWay.com recently took a test drive on a web site called TheScoreEstimator.com. It’s a website that promises a quick credit score estimate online, and with complete privacy. We took the ride for you, and found out that it works quite well – and you don’t have to sign up for any mandatory subscription services.
Checking to ensure that any “free” credit scoring company is not involved in anything shady is always a good idea. That’s particularly true now as millions of Americans are looking to check out their credit at a time of great economic anxiety. According to a recent study from Credit.com, 50% of U.S. consumers have checked their credit score in the past year.
The U.S. government is trying to make it easier for consumers who seek free credit scores don’t get scammed. The Credit Card of Act of 2009 has a provision that clamps down on companies that falsely claim their credit scores are ‘free”. From now on, any company that claims to offer you a free credit report has to disclose if the offer is linked to any mandatory subscription service or other charges.
TheScoreEstimator.com complies with that mandate, as it separates its credit score tool from its paid services. Visitors to the site are greeted with a headline banner “Do you know your credit score? Isn’t it time you did?
The site describes its free credit score estimator as follows:
We have developed a simple question answer estimator that will offer you an estimated credit score based on your answers. Simply answer the following questions about your credit history, and the estimator will provide your score.
Once you begin to answer the questions, an “info-box” appears on your computer screen offer a “free consultation” that offers help to consumers with $10,000-and-over in credit card debt. That’s a sure route to a service fee, but the site doesn’t make it mandatory to sign up for the consultation to estimate your credit score.
The “questions box” that you fill out to get your free credit score estimator is very user-friendly. The site asks you basic consumer finance questions like “how many credit cards do you currently have?” and “how many of your loans and/or credit cards are currently past due?”.
It took us about a minute to fill out the questions box, and a credit score estimate appeared on our screen immediately. Once again, the site urges a credit consultation once your score appears, but it isn’t mandatory.
When it comes to your credit, information is power. The ScoreEstimator is a good, quick first step to getting a handle on your score - then you can take it from there.
For the real deal, you can always get your actual credit score at AnnualCreditScore.com.