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Discover provides free FICO scores to cardholders every month

by Peter Andrew

Early in December, IndexCreditCards.com reported FICO's offer to allow credit card companies, free of charge, to pass on to consumers their latest credit scores each month. Barclaycard and First Bankcard were the first to take advantage of this new facility, closely followed by Discover, which piloted the program with holders of just one of its products. Now Discover has announced it's rolling out the service to all its consumer credit card customers.

Knowledge is power

Discover says its intention is to empower its customers by providing them with the information and knowledge they need to better manage their finances.

"Knowing their score can help our cardmembers achieve their personal goals and better prepare to reach life's many major milestones," Discover's Julie Loeger said in a statement.

To help with that, each statement will include an explanation of the two key factors that are most affecting your score that month, along with relevant educational material.

On its website, the company provides reassurance on a couple of issues that might otherwise worry cardholders:

  1. Some inquiries to credit bureaus can reduce your score. However, the ones that are going to generate information for this new monthly service are "soft," which means they should have no impact.
  2. Discover promises that the information generated is not going to be shared with anyone else.

Only consumer (as opposed to business or corporate) cardholders can expect to find their credit scores in their monthly statements, and those who have very brief credit histories may have to wait until they're better established before being included in the program.

More credit card companies to follow?

This initiative delivers a truly valuable service, and Discover has acquired a genuine competitive edge by being so quick to provide it. There must be a good chance that other card issuers are going to feel the need to catch up soon.

Published 02/12/14

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