At least 19 financial institutions now give customers free access to credit scores — for which you can thank Uncle Sam.
The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently released a list of 19 credit card companies, banks and credit unions that have told the CFPB they offer existing customers the ability to obtain a credit score for free on a continuous basis.
This information comes about three years after the CFPB publicly called on credit card companies to make credit scores available to their customers.
As the federal agency noted in a blog post Friday:
“Until recently, consumers couldn’t easily access their credit scores and often had to pay to get them. But over the last few years, many credit card and other companies have begun to offer consumers free access to their credit scores.”
The 19 card companies, banks and credit unions on the CFPB list are:
- 1st United Credit Union
- American Express Travel Related Services Co. Inc.
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- Chase Bank USA, N.A.
- Citibank, N.A.
- Commerce Bancshares, Inc.
- Discover Financial Services
- First Commonwealth Bank
- First National Bank of Omaha
- First Premier Bank
- Harvard University Employees Credit Union
- Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union
- Premier America Credit Union
- Star One Credit Union
- Synchrony Bank
- US Bank
- Wells Fargo
For more information on each card, go to the CFPB site and look at the list. Click the corresponding link to find out exactly what credit score or related information the institution provides. For example, my credit card company provides only one type of score, VantageScore, based on data from only one of the three major credit-reporting agencies.
So even if your institution is on the CFPB’s list, don’t stop after collecting whatever information it offers. Learn as much as you can about your credit and your credit scores.
“Credit scores matter. In fact, their importance is growing as they are used increasingly by lenders, insurers, landlords, employers and others to assess the risk of dealing financially with individuals.”
So where else can you turn for free credit information besides your financial institution?
The major credit-reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — are required by law to provide you with one free credit report each year. You can obtain these reports at annualcreditreport.com but note that they are only credit reports. They do not include credit scores.
If you find any of your credit scores lacking, be sure to also check out:
- “Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 Moves“
- “How to Get a Perfect 850 FICO Credit Score Automatically“
- “7 Ways to Build Your Credit Score Without a Credit Card“
What do you make of the trend of credit card companies offering free credit scores to customers? Let us know below or on Facebook.