USAA has announced that it will now be offering free credit scores and credit reports information to all its members, not just those with credit card accounts. This is great news, because it will add another free way to keep tabs on your credit report and credit score. USAA members do have to opt-in for this free service, and there are paid upgrades available.
From the webpage,
“CreditCheck® products by ConsumerInfo.com, Inc., an Experian company, were designed specifically for USAA members to provide the insight needed to understand your credit. Plus, the additional ID monitoring capabilities in CreditCheck® ID Monitor provide you with new detection features, allowing you to act fast in the event your identity has been stolen.”
This program offers your Experian credit report, updated once per year, and your VantageScore 3.0. Experian is one of the three largest credit reporting agencies in America. The VantageScore is an Experian specific score based upon the information contained in your credit file. The VantageScore is based on a 300-850 point scale, and you can learn more about where your score falls in the overall range at this explanation.
I signed up for this program, and it was quick and easy to sign up. When I signed up, I selected the option to have the CreditCheck available in a tile on my USAA home page, so that is how I have accessed it. If you don’t opt to have a tile on your home page, it appears that the best way to access this option is to select “CreditCheck (Experian)” under Services at the bottom of your home page.
It appears that you get constant access to your Experian VantageScore, and a yearly credit report. The free program also includes Score Factors, a Score Tracker and a Score Planner. The score, plus links to the credit report and other features, are available on the home page. You get 90 days access to your credit report and the an updated credit report in one year. The Score Factors lists the four largest issues that are making your score high or low. The Score Tracker, I’m guessing, will track my score over time. Right now it is showing that there is “no change.” The Score Planner allows you to play with various factors to see how changes would impact your score.
I was quite curious to use the Score Planner, as I find the “recommendations” in the Score Factors seem a little ridiculous. Using the Score Planner, I was able to see that there are only two ways that I could potentially increase my credit score: increasing the available balance on my credit cards, and not have any inquiries (we refinanced two houses last year, so apparently that decreases my score by about 10 points.)
I haven’t signed up for the paid services, and it looks like keeping an eye on the score would be enough to alert you to any surprising activities.
Why You Should Use This Program
Ralph Howard, with Consumer Lending Product Management at USAA Bank, say, “Having a higher credit score means you’ll generally have a better chance of receiving credit along with lower interest rates. USAA is offering CreditCheck to all members for free so they can watch, track and monitor their score over time.”
If you are a USAA member, I can’t imagine any reason why you wouldn’t want to sign up for this great free service. Keeping tabs on your credit scores and report is always a good idea, and this is a super-easy way to track the information being reported by Experian and the Vantage Score, one of the major credit scores used by lenders and other organizations. I love that it is both free and easy-too-use!