How to Get Your FICO Score for Free
You can get your FICO® score for free in a lot of places. Here are seven possibilities:
- Your Discover® credit card or website
- Credit card companies
- Credit unions
- Auto loans
- Student loans
- Credit counselors
Let’s dip into each source to see if you’re one of the people who can get your FICO score for free.
Hint: Your Discover credit card or the Discover website is just about a sure thing.
5 things you need to know about your FICO credit score
Here are a few quick basics to consider before pursuing your free FICO credit score—or skip ahead to the next section.
- Your FICO score isn’t your only credit score—you’ve got a lot of them—but it’s one of the most important. When making lending decisions, 90% of top lenders use FICO scores when deciding whether or not to loan you money, and at what interest rate.
- The history behind the move from fee to free began with something called FICO Score Open Access. Fair Isaac Corp.—creator of the FICO score—launched the policy in 2013 to educate consumers and increase access to credit scores. It encouraged financial institutions to provide credit scores for free to their customers.
- A general rule about credit scores: The higher your score, the better. This chart shows how your base FICO score breaks down in a range from 300-850.
- Identity theft can be a serious threat to your FICO score. For instance, a thief who uses your identity to open a new credit card, rack up purchases, and skip out on the bill can push down your credit score. That’s big, since your credit score can influence whether you can get a credit card, mortgage, auto loan, or job.
- It’s smart to pay attention to your FICO credit score, and it’s nice to be able to do it for free.
|FICO Credit Score Ranges|
|Source: Fair Isaac Corporation|
7 places to look for your free FICO score
Here’s a guide to where you can get your FICO score for free.
- Discover – Discover provides a free FICO credit score to all its consumer credit card accounts. The scores appear on cardholders’ monthly paper and online statements. Don’t have a Discover® card? Not a problem. Discover also provides free credit scores to consumers through an online tool called Credit Scorecard. Click here to find out more.
- Banks – More than 100 financial institutions provide free access to FICO credit scores to their members and, in some cases, non-members. If your bank is on board, you can generally check your FICO score by logging onto your online banking portal. Click here for a list of lenders participating in the FICO® Score Open Access program.
- Credit card companies – If you carry the right kind of plastic, you may be able to get your FICO credit score for free. (Depending on your credit card, you may get a VantageScore, instead.) Check out this list to see if your credit card entitles you to a free FICO score.
- Credit unions – FicoScore.com lists more than 40 credit unions that offer free credit scores to their members. See if you can pick out your credit union from this list or visit your credit union’s website to find out.
- Auto loans — Want to finance a new or used car? The finance department at the auto dealership will likely pull your base FICO score and a FICO auto score—a score geared to your history of paying back car loans. You can ask the finance representative to see your scores. Also, if you finance a vehicle through Ally Financial or Hyundai Capital America—which includes Hyundai Motor Finance and Kia Motors Finance—you’ll have full access to your FICO scores.
- Student loans — It may not be fun to have student debt, but if you’re a borrower or co-signer of Sallie Mae ® Smart Option undergraduate student loans, youcan see your FICO score online for free.
- Credit and financial counselors – If you’re a customer of a nonprofit organization that offers credit or financial counseling, some good news: You can probably receive the credit scores and credit reports that your counselor buys on your behalf. The same goes if you’re a customer of nonprofits offering housing counseling. The credit scores and reports are used as reference points to help improve your financial health. Click here for more information about the program. For a list of participating nonprofits, click here and scroll down.
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