Free Credit Scores: Coming to a Bank Near You?
Consumers, who can already get a annual free credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting bureaus, may soon be able to get a free credit score from their bank or credit union, reports The Wall Street Journal (“Credit Scores May Be Offered More Widely,” Jan. 15, 2009).
The Fair Isaac Corp., the company that created the FICO credit score, is expanding its “Scores on Statements” service, which banks can subscribe to in order to provide customers with their credit scores in their online statements each month.
That means consumers who belong to financial institutions that subscribe to Fair Isaac’s service could have monthly access to the same three-digit number – ranging from a score of 300 to 850 – that their bank uses to make its lending decisions. A credit score determines a consumer’s ability to get a loan for a car, a mortgage, a credit card, or any other line of credit, and just how much interest he or she will pay on the loan.
Currently, the credit score service is only available to credit card customers at Washington Mutual and could soon be made available to customers at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which is acquiring the ailing bank. The service has already been expanded to customers with Sears Solution MasterCards issued by HSBC and to members at the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union.
“We’re in talks with a lot of our major customers now,” said Michael Campbell, chief operating officer at Fair Isaac, of the company’s plan to expand the service to other banks.
In addition to giving consumers access to their credit scores online, the Scores on Statements service also offers consumers an explanation of how their score was determined and advice on what they can do to improve their score.
Popularity: 7% [?]
- You and Your Credit Score Part I: Understanding FICO
- Over 60% of Credit Card Companies Cutting Consumer Credit Limits
- Credit Card Companies Face $100 Billion in Write-Offs in Coming Months
- You and Your Credit Score Part II: Improving FICO
- You and Your Credit Score Part III: Understanding the New FICO