We found several ways to check your FICO score for free. FICO scores are more widely used than other credit scoring models like VantageScores which are used by Credit Karma. In fact, it is said that 90% of credit decisions at top lenders are based on the FICO credit scoring model.
Additionally, FICO scores have different versions that are tailored to specific industries, such as auto lending, mortgage lending, and credit cards.
This customization enables lenders to make more informed decisions that align with their risk preferences.
There are also many free ways to obtain your credit score, including through some credit card issuers, financial institutions, and credit monitoring services.
How to get free FICO Scores
It’s important to note that your credit score may be different at each credit bureau (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) based on the credit data it has in your credit reports.
While the factors that go into calculating credit scores are generally similar across the credit bureaus, the weight assigned to each factor and the algorithms used to calculate scores can differ.
Equifax Free FICO Score
- Equifax FICO Scores are available for free at myFICO.com.
- Citi offers cardholders of “select Citi cards” access to their Equifax FICO Bankcard Score 8.
Experian Free FICO Score
- Experian gives consumers free FICO Scores based on the FICO® 8 scoring with no credit card required.
- Experian Boost gives access to your free Experian credit report and FICO® Score along with offering score credits for the bills you already pay like utilities, video streaming services and rent.
- American Express primary cardholders get access to Experian FICO® Score 8.
- Wells Fargo primary account holders of an eligible Wells Fargo consumer account and enrolled in Wells Fargo Online banking pull their Experian FICO 9 Score.
TransUnion Free FICO Score
- Bank of America provides “eligible customers with a consumer credit card” access to their TransUnion FICO Score 8 credit score.
- Barclays credit cardholders get free access to their TransUnion FICO Score 8 credit score.
- Discover lets primary cardholders pull their TransUnion FICO Score 8 credit score through Credit Scorecard.
FICO® Score Open Access Program
The FICO® Score Open Access program aims to enhance consumer awareness about FICO® Scores and broaden consumer access to them.
FICO collaborates with more than 200 financial institutions to offer their clients complimentary access to the same FICO® Scores that they employ to monitor credit accounts. If your financial institution, credit card provider, car loan issuer, or mortgage servicer is a part of FICO® Score Open Access, you can view your FICO® Scores, as well as the primary factors that impact your scores, at no cost.
Check out the list to see if you’re associated with one of these companies to get a free FICO score.
Does checking your credit score hurt your credit?
There is a common misconception that checking your credit score can harm it, but this is not true. This notion likely originated from the fact that when banks or utility companies check your credit when you open an account, it is recorded as a “hard inquiry” or “hard pull” on your credit report and can lower your score by as much as 10 points.
However, when you personally check your credit score, it is considered a “soft pull” or “soft inquiry,” which does not have a negative impact on your credit score. Therefore, it is advisable to frequently monitor your credit score.
A general rule about FICO credit scores is that the higher your score, the better. Knowing what’s a good credit score can help you make more informed financial decisions especially when making big purchases like a car or real estate.
Benefits of paying for your FICO Scores
When you pay for your FICO scores, you typically receive access to more comprehensive credit reports and scores, including detailed information on the factors that affect your credit score, for instance:
FICO has industry-specific scores that are optimized for a certain type of credit product, such as mortgage loans, auto loans or credit cards. You can see these scores when you purchase FICO scores from myFICO.com.
You may also receive credit monitoring services that can alert you to any changes in your credit report, such as new accounts or negative marks.
Additionally, some paid FICO score services offer personalized recommendations on how to improve your credit score, based on your unique credit history and financial situation.