Discover is offering everyone -- including noncustomers -- free access to their FICO score. Here's how it works.
It used to be a somewhat frustrating process to get your credit score. You either had to pay to get access to it or if you wanted to get your FICO score for free, you had to have a credit card from a company that offered to give you the score on your card statement or online.
Now, thanks to Discover Financial Services, gaining access to your FICO score just got a whole lot easier.
Although Discover first started providing its card members with free FICO scores on their monthly statements and online in 2013, Discover’s new Credit Scorecard.com allows anyone and everyone access to their FICO scores. The service is free, and you don’t have to be a Discover customer. Even better, the process is quick and easy. I had my FICO score in hand in less than 5 minutes.
Websites like CreditSesame and CreditKarma also offer free credit scores, but they give you your VantageScore, not your official FICO score — which U.S. lenders use 90 percent of the time to determine consumers’ credit risk.
“Credit scores play an important role in many of life’s big moments, like buying a home or a car, taking out a student loan, even renting an apartment,” Roger Hochschild, Discover’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “We think it’s important that consumers have the information they need to manage their credit. With Credit Scorecard, this information is readily available to everyone, Discover customers and noncustomers alike, in a way that’s both easy to use and to understand.”
CreditScorecard.com really is simple to use. In addition to giving you your FICO score, it also provides you with information on what is helping and hurting your score, as well as tips on improving your score.
Even if you think you know roughly what your FICO score is, it’s still worth checking out. Discover updates its information every month, so your score may change. Results from a recent Discover survey revealed that 61 percent of people who checked their FICO score in the last year actually improved their score compared with the previous year. It’s recommended that you check your FICO score several times a year.
What do you think of Discover’s free FICO score offer? Sound off below or on our Facebook page.
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