Photo (cc) by LendingMemo
A Discover credit card now gets you free access to your latest FICO credit score. It’s a new service Discover Financial Services is offering to all of its cardholders.
Barclaycard US and First Bankcard began providing FICO scores to their customers in November, according to a press release from FICO. Discover also offered the perk to some customers in November, before expanding the offering to all consumer cardholders.
According to its website, Discover partnered with FICO and TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus, to provide the FICO score, which will be updated each month.
Discover is utilizing the FICO Score Open Access program, which is available to all financial service providers that use FICO’s scoring services. The credit scores are used by lenders to determine credit risk. Federal law requires that they be made available for free only under limited circumstances. They’re available for purchase online, usually for $19.95.
How important is this score? The FICO website says, “According to CEB TowerGroup, the FICO score makes up 90 percent of the credit scores purchased by lenders.”
Other credit card companies may soon follow Discover’s lead. Bloomberg reports that FICO is now in negotiations with a number of U.S. banks to offer clients free credit scores on monthly statements.
FICO spokesman Anthony Sprauve recently told Forbes that Discover, Barclaycard and First Bankcard have already supplied FICO scores to 35 million Americans. He added, “Within a reasonable amount of time, we expect all 200 million consumers in the U.S. who have FICO scores will be able to get that score for free with one of the banks they have a relationship with.”
Is your credit card company providing free FICO credit scores? If not, encourage them to follow Discover’s lead. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has been a champion of access to free credit scores. He explains why in this video.