Discover Card Free FICO Score: What’s The Catch?

FICO score logoRight after Barclaycard announced it would be providing free FICO scores to holders of some of their cards, Discover announced it would be doing the same.

Initially, only those with the Discover it card got free FICOs, but Discover announced a few years ago that it would be rolling out free credit scores to all its cardmembers – which has really been a boon to consumers.

And no, we’re not talking about some random fake score that isn’t used by lenders. Discover is giving you the real deal… your authentic TransUnion FICO.

So why are they doing this? What’s the catch? Well the FAQ on their website says this:

Q: Why are you putting my FICO Credit Score® on my statement?
A: Simply put, we want to be your favorite card.  So we’re always looking for new ways to treat you right. And now that means a FICO® Credit Score from TransUnion on your monthly statement to help you stay on top of your credit and avoid surprises.  All for free, and with no impact to your credit score.

Sounds a bit boilerplate, but the important part is there really is no catch! You won’t get charged for this. It is NOT some “free” trial scam or any of that nonsense.

Here’s some more helpful information

Q: Where does this score come from
A: It’s your TransUnion FICO score. You have two other FICOs (from Experian and Equifax). Since each score costs about $20 each if you were to buy them, getting your TransUnion score for free saves you some money.

Q: How often will I see my score?
A:Every month. Your score will be updated with your statement.

Q: Will my score change each statement?
A:If the information on your TransUnion credit report changes, your FICO score could change.

Q: Is this going to hurt my credit?
A:Nope! It’s a soft pull — just as if you were to check your credit on your own.

Q: I just got a Discover card, but where’s my score?
A: If your credit history is too new, FICO will not have generated a score for you yet. 

Why this matters

There are tons of places you can get free credit scores, but none of them are giving you your real FICO. Instead, they use other formulas, often times ones that are for “educational purposes only” and not even used by any lenders.

In order to get your FICO, normally you would have three places to go for it. You could pay $19.95 to MyFICO (which is a website owned by FICO) or your could buy it through Equifax’s website. You can also get it by signing up for Experian’s paid credit-monitoring service.

The ability to get your free FICO score from TransUnion simply for having a Discover card is quite valuable when you do the math. If MyFICO charges $19.95 each time you check it, that could run you upwards of over $200 per year to see it every month.

It’s a good idea to pull your credit scores whenever you’re in the market for a major loan (like a car loan or mortgage), because, despite the proliferation of other scoring models, most lenders check FICOs. That makes the Discover cards a no-brainer if for no other reason, just to keep track of your real FICO without paying a dime for it. Both use TransUnion. There’s no way to get it for free from Equifax or Experian, at least at this time. But no worries, because all three credit bureau should have similar numbers for you… so having one score is sufficient.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Ive been paying off all my outstanding debt and still my credit score ha been dropping 87 points last month what is going on need to get it back on track headed in the right direction

credit scores ,as determined today, are a joke. Fair

credit scores as determined today, are a joke. Fair Isaacs has sold the credit industry on nothing and has made billions.A three tier rating system makes more sense. ie excellent average poor. As done today you could be a great risk one day and not great the next. that is ridiculous. I can’t believe an intelligent ceo can’t see this. Did you ever see the questions used to determine the score? ,Wher are our political watch dogs?

I tried it. It just bounces me back interminably when I try to log in. But they have my personal information though!!

I, too, have the same problems. My scores went from the 800s in one month, and down to the mid 700s the next month, when I did nothing but use my card and charged $300 out of a very large credit limit. I then tried not using my card this time around, and it went back up, but only to the low 790s. I thought if you didn’t use your card, it would go up? Or if you used your card a small amount it would go up, like charging the $300. I pay all of my bills as soon as I get them. I have over a score of over 800 with Experian. I think FICO is incorrect, somehow. I also would like to pull my Transunion Report next month, but heard it will hurt your score. A question I have is…. will it hurt my score, and by how much????? And, then, the other question….why has my credit score fluctuated
(and not in a good way)? I would appreciate any responses at all, I really need to know if I should use my credit card, and if I can check my report. Thank you so much for your replies!!! I’m not sure how I’ll get them though:)

To the posters who are anxious about score changes when “nothing” has changed: if you research credit score management, you’ll learn what factors impact scores and how to manage them to improve your score.
One major factor is credit utilization, which is what % of your credit limit you are using—at the time your credit card company or lender reports your balance to the credit bureaus, commonly once a month. If you pay your balance in full each month but not at that reporting date, your credit utilization will be reported as higher than zero, firstly. Secondly, paradoxical as it may appear, if your balance is actually zero in your lender’s report, that negatively impacts your score. That is because if you don’t appear to be using credit effectively, the scorers assume you can’t. It takes some effort to learn the techniques to improve scores, for instance, calling your lenders to find out what date they do report your balances. Then time your payments accordingly. My comments touch on just two factors that strongly impact scores. There are equally important ones and helpful advice about managing them freely available just by googling. HTH someone.

Maybe Discover checking on the credit scores every month is actually hurting your credit score. If you are doing nothing different, then maybe they are wrong, and it does actually hurt your score. I was told when I was pre approved for a house loan that I had credit like a rock star. They also told me NOT to check my credit score because everytime you do, it drops your score. Kind of sounds like this is what is happening. If I find out that’s what is happening, I will cut my cards up !!!!

Blah blah blah. Educate yourselves. Knowledge is power. I work for discover.
1. To get discover or any major credit card, a hard inquiry is required. Score may drop.
2. New credit accounts make the average age of your credit drop. Math 101, jk that’s junior high math. Score may drop.
3. On your first statement, your FICO score doesn’t have your discover line of credit factored in because, well, it’s the first time it’s being reported. No score change.
4. High utilization = high risk = drop in score. Keep your utilization below 30%, for all cards.
5. Jk. I don’t really work for discover, I just needed your attention fool. I could continue this list to/past 20. Educate yourselves. Do not rely on someone else to do it for you. If your score truly is above 799, all 3 FICO scores, not just your transunion FICO, YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO ASK DISCOVER, YOU WOULD KNOW WHY YOUR SCORE DROPPED. So no, I will not apologize for lying about working for discover. Instead, you are most welcome for 4 reasons as to why your score MAY have dropped.

I have had the Discover It card for about a year and a half now. My score changes every month and I’m aware of the reasons for this and that my credit is my responsibility. It is not Discover’s fault that your FICO score has dropped. And to acknowledge the poster that said the scores were not legitimate, the report that you purchased would have your up-to-date score at that particular date. Discover updates your score monthly (date is provided on your statement) so your score will vary depending on the information on your reports on any given date. And if you think they only update every few months that’s untrue as well. Four months of the same exact spending and payment activity is not sufficient enough to change your score one way or the other. Credit takes time… six month intervals to be exact. One year to two years to see significant improvement. If you apply for new credit, whether you are granted or denied, your credit score will take a hit. Your “Average Age of Accounts” will have lowered and the inquiry will stay with you for two years. If you keep a balance over 25%… If you keep a balance of 0%! These all affect your score! Not sure what else I can say to the people that are so distressed about their scores. I used to be one of them. I’m better informed now so I’m not so easily bothered anymore. I hope this help a little.

It’s absolutely awesome that Discover is sharing free FICO scores with their cardholders. I just feel so bad for their customer service representatives. They have opened the floodgates. Thousands of people that know very little about their credit scores and how they work will bombard the call centers asking for explantions about fluctuations that likley have nothing to do with Discover. People will expect Discover to explain the ABC’s of credit monitoring to them. I have a feeling this won’t last long becaue it’s going to be more trouble than it’s worth for Discover. I’ll enjoy in the meantime.

i like seeing my credit score each month, however, i’am very disappointed when my fica score drop! Are your predictions accurate with all of the other companies? I’am trying very hard to get back where I was which is at the top! Give me some suggestions on what i’am doing right or wrong! I’am trying very hard to pay down or complete my outstanding bills! Will paying off a purchase in 6-12 months affect my credit if its not considered permanent credit?(same as cash) I think it’s through Bankcard! Thank You! WP

Jacqueline Yarbrough

I like to know why is my credit score dropping? I have great concerns about this BS,I pay my bill before they are even due. What is going on Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have the same question what did you find out

I, too, wonder why my score went down from the 800s to 772 In one month when I only used about 300 of my credit limit (which was hardly anything). IT then went back up to the 790s afte4r not using it at all, and it should have gone back up to the 800s. I pay every single bill I have immediately, so nothing is never late. I have a very good credit score with Experian. My FICO should definitely be higher. I just cannot figure out why. And now I’m afraid to order a report, since I heard it will hurt your credit. I have 2 questions. Why is my credit score down, and then up, but not enough, and then, secondly, will pulling the Transunion Report hurt my score? Thanks for a reply!!!! Hopefully someone will answer these, but not sure how I will get the answers, however.

Nope. This is not the real deal. I just pulled my tri-score report from Experian’s website. My scores are: 738, 750 and 747. The Discover score is: 712. Capital One has also started providing a “FICO” score. From them, my score is: 682. The scores these companies are providing are not true FICO scores. I got mine from the source (the tri-merge report mentioned above). My guess is they are providing low scores to justify charging you higher interest rates. It’s total BS.

No offense but most of you don’t seem to know how myfico works and what impacts credit score going up or down and one thing is for certain it’s not Discover’s fault.

marilyn oreilly

why did my credit score drop in one month????????????????????????????????????

Kimberly Givens

I would like to know why my credit score dropped from 786 to 661. I have done nothing different and when I checked my credit reports, everything looks good. I was told by one of your CSR’s to try contacting TransUnion because that is who you get the score from. TransUnion said I need to contact FICO. The FICO number I was given said they didn’t have access to my reports. Judging from the other comments, I am not alone with this problem. What is going on?

Yes, the Discover FICO score is helpful, but it does not appear it is exactly as advertised. My score has only changed once in the past 4 months. I expected it to change one way or another after opening 2 new credit card accounts. I suspect Discover only updates the score every 3 months, but makes it appear to be a monthly update. Somewhat disappointing for those of us that monitor the activity.

How does my FICO score drop 50 points in one month and I have done nothing different? What’s going on Discover????

Thanks Discover. I’ve always been curious about credit scores. I’m sure you’ll have hundreds if not thousands of boneheads trying to make you responsible for their score month to month – please don’t discontinue the “sharing” of information just because some folks are a little slow.
Now, I’m going to try to figure out what would be the best Discover card for me. You have several choices – I never have really understood that either.



dan McPhillips

like, Bob my FICO score has dropped about 100 points in a month ?
would you like your card back now that my credit score is much lower ?

Gerald Hubert

I have the same question many of the other cardholders have ? Why does the credit score drop monthly, when you haven’t done anything different ? I don’t have last months statement, but this month my credit score dropped to 718 ?

marilyn oreilly

does any one get an answer.seems like everyone has the same question.but i am not sure of this process.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How your score work,when you have not used your in some time

Why did my score go from 817 to 728 in one mnoth?

My credit score dropped from 837 on 2/14 to 736 on 3/14. I have done nothing different. What caused this mammoth drop?

My score was 837 on 2/14 and it dropped to 736 on 3/14. What happened? I did nothing different.

Will Discover-it show fiso scores for both my wife & I we we have a Joint Account? (2 seperate scores?)

I only credit card and I pay it on time every month. I don’t understand why why it went from 790 to 664….

My credit score is well above what Discover quoted on my fico score. What the hell Discover.

You are so right I did some resources from the BIG 3. They said FICO score doesn’t mean shit. FICO is much higher than the Big 3 has. My score from Big 3 is 690. FICO was722 they all said B-3 that FICO is WRONG it will always be higher than the rest of the B-3. I was told that they don’t even use your FICO score when you apply for any kind of loan.

Shirley Jaquith

How do I get a printout of my information to determine my score? Thank you. I appreciate the score each month.

My question is why is my credit score so low. We own our home, have no outstanding debt, no loans, we pay every bill BEFORE it is due, we should score 800 ! What does one have to do to get an outstanding credit rating ? Thank you

Martin Forsythe

It is low because you don’t have any debt. Kinda crazy huh? That’s the way the system works though. Try carrying a small balance over on a couple of credit cards and see what happens. Also an auto loan or a small home equity would do wonders for your score.

Elwood H. Knight

Shows my FICO is 737. I want to know what rating factors where we are deficient? We pay our balance every month in total. We have no delinquent accounts. Own our own home. We pride ourselves as being well above average, which you are showing. What is the area which is dragging our score down?

I have a question—why does my FICO score keep getting lower when I have done nothing different since you started to send it to me. It started at 812 and is now 798. The only thing different is that I now get my score. Thanks.

I have a paperless account, how will I get my free fico score..

Like Georgiana Walton I want to know why my FICO score is going DOWN!!!!! Nothing has changed except that now I’m getting it on my statement. Like her, I started at 817 now it’s down to 797. WHYYYYYYY?

Margaret C. Inman

I have just read the above questions and would like to know also why the scores go from up to down per month. One month they were 811 and then they were 800.

What site do i go to in order to register for a fico score on my DISCOVER CARD?