Bank of America, Chase Bank and Others Offering Free Credit Scores for Customers in 2015
Free FICO Scores have become more available to consumers since 2013, when Fair Isaac Corporation announced its FICO Score Open Access Program, which gave banks the right to share a FICO Score with consumers. Additionally, banks claim the free FICO Scores have increased customer loyalty.
“Consumers who regularly see their FICO Scores are more engaged, increasingly loyal and make positive changes in credit management behavior, resulting in improved FICO Scores,” Fair Isaac said in November while discussing free FICO Score programs offered by Barclaycard and First Bankcard.
Joining Discover, which began offering free FICO Scores to cardholders last year, will be Chase Bank, Bank of America and Ally Financial. USAA announced it will offer the FICO competitor VantageScore for free to members. Last fall, Citigroup announced it would join the free Credit Score group early in 2015.
Ally Financial: Will offer free FICO Scores, beginning with a pilot program in February 2015 and a full launch this summer to auto finance customers.
Bank of America: Will begin offering free Credit Scores to consumer credit card customers later this year (2015).
Citigroup: Will begin offering free FICO Scores in 2015 to an estimated 23 million consumers.
Chase Bank: Plans to offer free FICO Credit Scores at no charge to Slate cardholders in 2015.
USAA: Will offer cardholders access to the Experian VantageScore, a competitor to the FICO score. USAA is already testing the program and expects it will be available to all consumers by March 2015.
Keep in mind that there are dozens of credit scoring models out there, and each source may be using a slightly different model from the next as well as data from your credit report a different credit reporting agency. This means that if you get credit scores from different sources, you may see minor — or even relatively major — variation among the Credit Scores you receive. While it can be educational to see how your credit is measured by different Credit Scores, don’t let the differences confuse you. If you’re using your free Credit Scores to track your credit-building progress, or to monitor for changes that are a sign of fraud or an error, it’s especially important to monitor the credit changes for the same score over time.
Remember, you can also get your credit reports for free once a year from each of the major credit reporting agencies under federal law.
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