What Credit Cards Offer Free FICO Scores?

Triston Martin

Jan 13, 2023

Back in the day, your FICO score was a closely guarded secret that creditors did not want you to have. After then, the Fair Credit Reporting Act gave you the right to seek your credit score from the credit agencies; however, doing so required you to pay a fee. This marks the beginning of the free score era.

In 2013, Fair Isaac Corporation, the corporation responsible for creating the FICO score, announced a program called FICO Score Open Access, which made it possible for lenders to provide their clients with free FICO ratings.

The following year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau demanded that major credit card issuers make their client's free credit ratings available, and several of them have since complied with this demand. The following is the current status of the most prominent credit card issuers:

Why Should You Check Your Score?

There are a variety of advantages that come along with being aware of your FICO score. Most financial institutions in the United States base their decisions on whether or not to provide credit on a customer's FICO score. If you have access to a score based on the same algorithms that bankers and card issuers use, you will better understand how these entities see you.

In addition, monitoring your FICO score every month is an excellent approach to keeping track of your development as you seek to enhance the quality of your credit history. It is satisfying to see that your efforts are producing the desired results. On the other hand, it will be simpler to recognize credit errors when you make them and to alter your behaviors with this newfound awareness.

Keeping an eye on your FICO score is a smart method to discover any problems, so be sure to do that. The information included in your credit report is used to calculate your FICO score. Your FICO score is likely to reflect that you have been a victim of identity theft or an inaccuracy in reporting your credit history. Even though it will continue to be in your best interest to check all three of your credit reports at least once a year — something that you can do for free at AnnualCreditReport.com — monitoring your FICO score every month can serve as an effective early warning system if things start to go off the rails.

Why Aren't Your Scores Identical To Everyone Else's?

You do not only have one FICO score to your name. This is where things start to get complicated. Each of the three main credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, is responsible for gathering information on its own and assigning a score to you based on that information. There are only a few credit bureaus that all credit card issuers use, and they all use different scores.

In most cases, the three different FICO scores will be quite comparable to one another. However, the effect of this is that if you apply for a large loan, such as a mortgage, you shouldn't be shocked if the scores your lender is looking at aren't the same as what you're seeing on the website of your credit card issuer since the two sets of information might be quite different.

Why Credit Scores Are What They Are

The credit scores distributed by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) or other credit scoring models are used by lenders to assess whether or not a prospective borrower is qualified to get a loan. The figure, which may range anywhere from 300 to 850 on the FICO scale, measures how well a person can handle financial obligations such as loans, mortgages, and credit cards. Even though it may not be ideal, it is how creditors evaluate risk; the better your score, the more responsible you look to be.

Another scoring model that is widely used is called the VantageScore, and it was introduced in 2006 by the three main credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Similar to the FICO score, it may vary anywhere from 300 to 850, although its calculation is somewhat different. These distinctions are coming up next, so stay tuned.

One of the most important things you can do to pay lower interest rates is to raise your credit score. Not only will this improve your chances of being approved for the best travel rewards credit cards and other best credit cards, but it will also improve your chances of being approved for the best conditions on many other types of loans. Put, if your credit score is good to great, lenders will trust that you will pay back your obligations on time and be more willing to work with you by giving you access to the finest goods and the best pricing. They are doing this because they believe you will pay back your debts.

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