Earlier this month, Barclaycard announced they would be providing free FICO scores to holders of some of their cards. Now Discover has announced they will be doing the same.
If you have the Discover it card, beginning on your next statement you will see your FICO.
Update: Discover announced on Feb. 6, 2014, that it would be rolling out free credit scores to all its cardmembers. So, in addition to those who have the Discover it card, those who have Discover More, Discover Open Road, Discover Motiva, Miles by Discover and Escape by Discover should see their free credit score in their next monthly statement.
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 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 non-sense.Here are some other Q&A’s they listed that I found more helpful…
Q: Where did you get this score?
A: We partnered with TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus, and FICO® to provide your FICO® Credit Score on your statement for free.
Q: How often will I see my FICO® Credit Score?
A: Your FICO® Credit Score will be updated every month with your statement.
Q: Will my score change each statement?
A: Your FICO® Credit Score is updated every month with new information from your TransUnion credit report, and it can change over time.
Q: Are you sharing this information?
A: No. Discover is not sharing your FICO® Credit Score with anyone but you.
Q: Is this going to hurt my credit?
A: No. We provide your FICO® Credit Score on your statements with a soft inquiry that will never impact your credit score.
Q: Why didn’t I see my FICO® Credit Score on my statement?
A: Some cardmembers do not have a FICO® Credit Score, often because their credit history is too new. When you have a score, we’ll send it through your monthly statement. Currently, Discover it Cardmembers see their FICO® Credit Score on their statements, and this benefit will be available for other cardmembers in the near future.
Q: Why is my FICO® Credit Score important to me?
A: Nearly all lenders in the U.S., including Discover, use a FICO® Credit Score among other information when they make their credit decisions. And they have for over 20 years. Discover puts your FICO® Credit Score from TransUnion on your statement so you can stay on top of your credit and avoid surprises.
Why this matters
Obviously 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 (who is 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.
That makes the Discover cards (and/or this Barclaycard) 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 as of the time of publishing (Nov 27th 2013). But no worries, because all 3 credit bureau should have similar numbers for you… so having one is plenty sufficient.
This article was written or last updated Feb. 11, 2014