Can you get a FICO credit score for free from Discover?
Thanks to the evolution of FICO’s Open Access program, over 150 million consumer credit and loan accounts in the US now provide FICO scores for free. This comes on the heels of a push for more credit and lending transparency over the last few years.
Several of the largest financial institutions in America have joined in the effort. However, Discover has taken the FICO Open Access Program further than any other.
Does Discover Really Offer Free FICO Scores?
Most banks require you own a consumer credit card with them in order to gain “free” access to your scores.
Discover is different.
They have taken credit transparency to the next level by being the first to offer free FICO credit scores to the public regardless of whether they are a customer or not.
In fact, they were also the first major credit card issuer to offer free scores to their customers, back in 2013 (before the Open Access program began).
You can sign up for a free account here – no strings attached.
Whether you are a credit newbie or have a great understanding of your personal finances, there is literally no good reason to pass up a free FICO score.
Why Is My FICO Score Important?
90% of lenders across America use FICO Scores to determine credit worthiness.
This is a big reason why the FICO Open Access program (and the financial institutions that have adopted it) has received so much praise. Access to FICO scores allows consumers to gain a better understanding of how lenders view them.
Though there are other scoring models, the FICO model is considered the most reliable. More importantly, it is the most widely used. That’s why Bank of America, American Express, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, and others have all joined in.
Discover offers free FICO scores through a credit reporting dashboard they call Discover Scorecard.
Discover Scorecard Review
Discover provides FICO 8 scores based on Experian data—one of the three major credit reporting bureaus.
While there are are multiple credit reporting agencies, it’s vital that you check your reports against each other. That means you should also seek FICO 8 scores from TransUnion and Equifax.
As of now, Experian is the only one you are going to find with absolutely no catch. And you can only do that through Discover Scorecard.
For most adopters of the Open Access program, free FICO scores are little more than a value add to consumer credit accounts. With Discover, it’s something else completely. Sure, there is some “goodwill marketing” involved, but this is a real gamechanger.
Discover is really making it easy for the average person to get an honest feel for the way lenders see applicants.
Scorecard is updated on a monthly basis and provides other useful information. This includes a breakdown of the 5 major factors that affect credit scores and a comparison against national averages.
They also provide tips on improving your credit score and answers to frequently asked questions. Beyond that, they provide additional online resources custom-fit for you, based on the contents of your credit report.
To top things off, it takes almost no time to gain access.
How to Sign Up for Scorecard
Getting your Discover credit scorecard and free FICO score is a surprisingly simple four-step process.
There’s no credit card information necessary and in a matter of minutes, you can see what your score looks like. All they need if your name, mailing address, email address, and social security number.
You’ll need to create a username and password, answer a few questions to confirm your identity and then set up a couple of personal security questions to complete the sign-up process.
Verification takes only a few moments and you’re in!
Where Else to Get Free FICO Scores
Tracking your FICO 8 Score from Experian is important.
However, there are two other bureaus to take into account. You’ll need to look elsewhere for access to your TransUnion and Equifax scores.
There are actually quite a few financial institutions with free credit score access. However, none of them offers access to FICO 8 scores as easily as Discover.
As mentioned before, most of these institutions require an eligible credit card account.
Whether you choose to apply for additional credit cards for FICO score access is up to you. Just know that the more you know, the more likely you’ll be able to make wise financial decisions.
At the very least, take a few minutes to sign up for Discover Scorecard. That way you won’t be one of millions of Americans who are completely in the dark about their creditworthiness.