I am always curious about my credit score, but I don't want to pay for it. I do check my credit report each year, but I'm just curious about that score. This week, I learned about a tricky way to have regular access to your credit score.
I was sitting in Newark airport, killing time, and I noticed that there was a branch of Alliant Credit Union just across from my gate. My sister is a member of Alliant, and she is always raving about their products and services. I wandered over and inquired about membership. As it turns out, you don't even need to have a qualifying relationship to join Alliant Credit Union. They have an affiliate relationship with a non-profit called Foster Care for Success. If you join Foster Care for Success, you are eligible to become a member of Alliant Credit Union.
Alliant Credit Union has a variety of extras that make your membership more valuable. In addition to the usual deposit and loan products, Alliant offers free access to your credit score. It is displayed on your online account access page, and it is updated quarterly. It is considered a soft inquiry, so it will not impact your credit score.
Another great benefit is free financial education and counseling. Their preventative education efforts include newsletters, webcasts, and on-demand courses, videos and games. If you run into financial trouble, you have free access to the fabulous services of GreenPath Debt Solutions, one of the industries most respected financial counseling services.
I'm usually an advocate of the keep it simple philosophy of banking, and I try not to have too many open accounts. However, a minimal investment in Alliant Credit Union membership can provide great rewards.