Credit Score Roulette

Wagering on your Credit Score

Ever played credit card roulette where everyone throws a credit card on the table at the end of a meal?  The waitress get to picks one lucky sucker who has to pick-up the whole tab and everyone else gets to breathe a deep sigh of relief.  If you’re the kinda sicko that enjoys that game, you may also like Credit Score Roulette.

credit score rouletteMy best friend and I are nutty about personal finance and we both take our credit scores very seriously (as everyone should).  We also love to gamble.  So about ten years ago we decided to make the annual routine of checking our credit scores a little more interesting.   Each year we make a wager that whoever has the lowest credit score has to pay for dinner and drinks at the restaurant of the winner’s choice.  We check our scores on the same day and share the result at the same time.  Aside from the obvious prize, we both want to win because we pride ourselves on a good score and we're super-competitive.

… so competitive in fact, that we took it a step further and bet on our wives’ credit scores.  We didn’t tell them at first and when they later found out, one of them wasn’t too happy to learn she was the reason her husband had picked up a big tab 🙂 .  So we’ve since shifted focus back to ourselves…..at least until our kids are old enough to start developing their own credit.

Surrendering the Bet

Last year we had a development that caused us to temporarily put our game on hold.  After reviewing my credit report, I found that I had been the victim of identity theft.  Someone had fraudulently opened a couple utility accounts in my name.  After several dozen phone calls, faxes, a credit freeze, and way too many hours… I was able to get the matter resolved.  The resolution process was a nightmare, but discovering the issue is all the more reason to check credit regularly.  My score has bounced back, but had I not caught it, I would have been in for a nasty surprise had I tried to use my credit to buy a car or refinance my house.  And in case you were wondering, my friend was kind enough to waive last year’s dinner due to extenuating circumstances.

Anyway, you already know why it’s so critical to know your credit score.  But maybe Credit Score Roulette will give you that extra little competitive inspiration to improve your score.  Even if you lose, it’s still great fun to take your friend(s) out on the town.

And if you’re wondering how to get your score for free (all those advertisements do come with a catch), here’s a simple trick I learned…

How to get your credit score for free (seriously free)

FICO-credit-scoreFirst off, you can absolutely get your credit report for free once a year from each of the three credit bureaus or from annualcreditreport.com.  However, they will not provide you with your credit score for free. And you really ought to be checking both your report AND your score. 

One easy way to do this is to get the MyFICO free credit score when you sign up for a free trial of Score Watch®.  And then immediately cancel the Score Watch®….unless of course you determine that you want Score Watch®.  I’m neither for or against it, it’s just not something I’ve decided to pay for myself.

After you sign up, make sure you print your credit report out BEFORE cancelling since you won’t have access afterwards.  Cancelling is fairly painless and only takes a minute or two.

How to cancel MyFICO Score Watch® (you won’t need to call)

  1. Click “Support” on the top right (next to “My Account”) when signed in.
  2. Click on the link that says “How do I cancel my Free Score Trial?”
  3. Click the link that says, “The easiest way to cancel is to send a request by clicking here”.
  4. Choose “I would like to cancel my product subscription” and “Score Watch® – Free Trial”.  Then click “Next”.
  5. Enter your name and email (you can leave order# blank if you don’t have it).
  6. In the comments, type “Please cancel my Score Watch® subscription effective immediately.”
  7. Send your request and you should receive a confirmation within 24 hours.

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