Consumers are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus but that doesn’t include credit scores.
While free credit scores are available at several web sites and more than 20 web sites offer credit scores for a cost, they aren’t your true scores — unless they come from myfico.com.
Over 90% of U.S. lending decisions are made using FICO® credit scores according to CEB TowerGroup, a financial services research firm, making it imperative consumers know their true credit scores.
Until a few years ago if you wanted your FICO® score you had to pay; unless you were denied credit or given less favorable terms in which case you are entitled to see the FICO® score used by the lender at no charge.
But there is a new trend starting that allows consumers access to free FICO® scores on a monthly basis.
9 Banks that offer free FICO® scores
Under FICO®’s Score Open Access program, customers are able to see their credit scores as often as their lenders order them from FICO®, which could be every month.
Customers can also see the top two factors impacting their score — things like late payments, a short credit history or high balances.
FICO®’s Score Open Access program is an attempt to make it easier for consumers to know the exact score a lender uses to make credit decisions.
According to Anthony Sprauve, a spokesman for FICO®, “…We are trying very hard to remove the mystery about the FICO score and the perception that the score is handed down from on high and educate people about their score so they understand the factors that drive the score.”
FICO® scores, particularly the exact score that a customer’s lender is using, have typically been difficult for consumers to find. According to an American Banker Association Survey 56 percent of Americans have no idea about their credit scores.
Get free FICO® score from these banks
1. Ally Bank If you’re planning to purchase a new car use Ally Auto Online Services or the Ally Auto Mobile Pay app to get free FICO® scores.
2. American Express® credit cards. Cardholders can access free FICO® scores as well as get 12 months of FICO® score history.
3. Bank of America. Cardholders get free access to their FICO® score along with access to charts that allow you to track recent scores over time and compare your score to the national average.
4. Chase. Chase Slate® cardholders will receive FICO® scores each month.
5. Citibank®. Cardholders of select Citi cards get monthly updated free FICO® scores.
6. Discover Credit. The Discover Scorecard program is free whether you are a Discover customer or not. With the Discover Credit Scorecard, your score is updated every 30 days, and you will never be penalized for checking your score. While you are working to rebuild your credit, you can use the Discover Credit Scorecard to help track your FICO® score.
7. DCU Credit Union. Members are eligible to receive up to date free FICO® scores online every month.
8. Pentagon Federal Credit Union. PenFed offers eligible members a free look at their FICO® score and lets you estimate your score for free.
9. Walmart Credit Card Walmart® credit card and Walmart® Mastercard® customers get free FICO® scores once a month when signed up to receive electronic statements.
Understanding your FICO® credit scores will help you with your overall financial well-being. While free sites offer credit scores using the VantageScore system, you can make better decisions knowing the credit score used by most banks and lenders.
With so many different ways to access free FICO® scores, you have the ability to stay informed to make the best financial decisions for your family.