2014 Discover Card Free FICO Score: What’s The Catch?

Posted by CreditCardGuru

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 on Feb. 6, 2014 that it would be rolling out free credit scores to all its cardmembers.

And no, I’m not talking about some wannabe 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 two 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 (the only other website licensed to sell FICOs directly to consumers).

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.

Updated September 2014

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29 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Willa Palmer September 10, 2014 at 2:03PM

    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

  2. Jacqueline Yarbrough August 18, 2014 at 2:35PM

    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!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Dan July 21, 2014 at 7:46PM

    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.

  4. Rob July 12, 2014 at 9:05PM

    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.

  5. marilyn oreilly June 25, 2014 at 5:30PM

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

  6. Kimberly Givens June 16, 2014 at 4:49PM

    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?

  7. dave June 3, 2014 at 4:54PM

    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.

  8. Angela S. April 16, 2014 at 1:37PM

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

    • Shaky Brady May 8, 2014 at 8:07AM

      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.

    • JOAN BARDEAUX May 8, 2014 at 3:52PM


      • dan McPhillips May 10, 2014 at 12:23PM

        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 May 20, 2014 at 4:29PM

        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 June 25, 2014 at 5:34PM

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

  9. Mack Mincie April 16, 2014 at 12:31PM

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

  10. Peggy Buhrman April 7, 2014 at 11:34AM

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

  11. Bob Schade March 26, 2014 at 12:41PM

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

  12. Bob Schade March 26, 2014 at 12:39PM

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

  13. Thomas March 26, 2014 at 5:07AM

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

  14. maladyprsd March 25, 2014 at 6:49PM

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

  15. JANE MAHONEY March 13, 2014 at 1:21PM

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

  16. Shirley Jaquith March 4, 2014 at 6:46PM

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

  17. Laura Nemes March 3, 2014 at 11:01AM

    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 November 6, 2014 at 8:44AM

      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.

  18. Elwood H. Knight February 26, 2014 at 2:58PM

    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?

  19. Georgiana Walton February 18, 2014 at 11:39AM

    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.

  20. Lola shumate February 17, 2014 at 10:48AM

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

    • Nancy Goodyear February 21, 2014 at 5:04PM

      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 April 2, 2014 at 1:48PM

        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.

  21. ccushman January 10, 2014 at 6:33AM

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

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