Tips on using Experian’s CreditWorks Premium trial that can give you free FICO scores for years

Experian is notorious for offering what seems like a never-ending trial of its credit monitoring service. Although Experian entices consumers with a 7-day trial of its CreditWorks Premium credit monitoring service, you can renew the trial for years.


Even better, Experian retains your credit reports and scores that you viewed during your trial, making this an excellent tool for anyone looking to track trends in their credit.


The below guide offers tips on signing up for Experian CreditWorks Premium, using the service, and managing your membership.


(1) Signing up

Sign up for a 7-day trial of Experian’s CreditWorks Premium credit monitoring service.


Although the site informs you that a credit card is used, you should still be able to use a prepaid Visa, Mastercard, or American Express prepaid debit card/gift card, which is what you should use to prevent unwanted charges in the event that you forget to cancel your trial in time.


When you sign up, Experian may attempt to confirm that your card can be charged for the normal membership fee. So, you should use a prepaid debit card that has a balance for at least that amount, but not much more. 


If Experian changes its process and does require a credit card for you to sign up, but you still want to use the above tip to avoid unwanted charges after your trial, sign up with a credit card and change your payment method to the prepaid debit card.


Because Experian is in the business of selling consumer data, it’s a good idea to not sign up with an email address that you wouldn’t want shared with potential advertisers. Instead, use an alternative email address and ensure that it’s an account that you would not mind having your credit monitoring alerts sent to. 



(2) Setting up your account

Once logged in, set up your credit monitoring alerts so that you can get notified of changes to your credit report.



(3) Requesting your FICO scores

Request your free 3-Bureau credit report up to once a week during your Experian CreditWorks Premium 7-day trial.


There’s a charge for additional refreshes, so request your 3-Bureau credit report at the optimal time. For instance, you’ll want to request your 3-Bureau credit report after most of your credit card companies have updated your reports for the month. You’ll also want to keep in mind that just because your credit card is updated at one bureau, it may not be updated with the other bureaus on the same day. So, request your 3-Bureau report when you feel that your accounts are updated with all bureaus.


Each day that you log into your Experian account, your credit report is refreshed and the report is saved in your historical reports. If you don’t log in, your Experian score for that day will not be available in your historical reports. If you’d like to closely monitor and track trends, simply log in as often as you can. Your stats are saved for years.



(4) Managing your trial membership

Remember to cancel your trial before it ends.


When you cancel your trial, you will still have full access to all of the trial membership benefits until the original end date of your trial. So, it’s best to just cancel your trial after you request your 3-Bureau credit report so that you don’t forget. Experian has offered one refund every 12 months and they may still do that. But, it’s best not to tempt fate.


There’s another reason that it’s important to cancel before the trial ends if you used a prepaid debit card that Experian won’t be able to charge. Experian auto-enrolls you into CreditWorks Premium if you don’t cancel your trial. If they’re unable to charge your card, you’ll be required to either enter updated payment information to pay for your CreditWorks Premium membership or you’ll have to call and downgrade to the CreditWorks Basic membership. One of these two things will need to be done before Experian will allow you to log into your Experian account again. 


The next time that you log in after your trial ends, Experian will ask you if you want to sign up for an Experian CreditWorks Premium trial or continue with Experian CreditWorks Basic. If you decide to continue with the Basic membership, Experian will provide numerous opportunities for you to sign up for the CreditWorks Premium trial again. 


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