In a move to help consumers understand and manage their finances, Discover Financial Services and two other banking institutions will provide customers with their FICO credit score along with their monthly statements. The scores can affect loans and job applications, and more than half of all U.S. consumers reportedly don't know their score.
“We’re helping [consumers] manage their finances so they can achieve their personal goals,” Julie Loeger, the senior vice president of brand and acquisition at Discover said in a Nov. 20 press release. A recent SEC filing shows that nearly 18 percent of Discover Card users had a FICO score below 660. These customers had the most significant proportion of delinquent activity.
On Nov. 6 FICO launched FICO Score Open Access -- an initiative to provide the free scores to any customers whose lenders approve. At that time only 2.2 million people were affected – holders of First Bankcard from First National Bank of Omaha and users of Barclaycard US.
Soon, members of the “Discover It,” a credit card that offers cash rewards and zero-percent-interest APR, will see a “FICO Score Meter” on their monthly bills. It will show the strength of their scores, using data from TransUnion, and information to help better understand them.
“Equifax will continue reselling FICO scores and providing FICO access to its consumer data for the purposes of developing and marketing new analytics that will meet the changing requirements of businesses," reads a Nov. 6 press release from FICO.
American legislation requires that anyone can get their credit scores for free once a year from annualcreditreport.com.
Otherwise, FICO typically charges $19.95 for a single score.
Experian, TransUnion and Equifax are three major credit bureaus in the United States that provide scores for about $9 each. They provide credit scores used in lending decisions.
When customers apply for credit cards or home loans, their credit scores determine their interest rates.
According to a survey from the American Bankers Association, 56 percent of consumers don’t know their FICO score.