The Detroit News reports in a Dec. 16, 2013 article that 3 credit card issuers will begin providing free credit scores to consumers. These issuers include Discover, Barclaycard US and First Bankcard. This is excellent news for consumers, because this will permit about 35 million cardholders to obtain their credit scores for free; up to now there has usually been a charge for consumers to obtain their scores.
The article reports that this is happening because Fair Isaac Corp. has decided to start an initiative to help more people see their score and get more consumers exposed to its brand. Fair Isaac is the company that developed the credit score, which can be anywhere from a low of 300 to a perfect 850.
Lenders pay Fair Isaac to see the scores of potential borrowers to determine if they will approve the borrower for credit. What has now changed is that Fair Issac has agreed to let some lenders share these scores with their customers. It’s not charging the lenders more to do so.
As a reminder, consumers can obtain credit REPORTS for free once per year, from the three credit bureaus, through a website set up for that purpose: www.annualcreditreport.com. It's recommended that everyone check their credit reports at least once per year, to check for mistakes or possible fraud.
Consumers can then dispute any inaccuracies through the credit bureaus. Otherwise inaccurate, derogatory items could harm their credit scores unnecessarily.
But credit SCORES have not been for free to consumers, at least not without going to a third-party site. Third party sites may pitch the consumer to purchase other products and services. And the third-party sites' scores are not the same as the ones that the creditors see, when they pay for and obtain your scores through Fair Isaac.
Do you think this is a positive development to consumers? Or do you think it is just a cynical attempt by Fair Isaac to drum up more business, and that access to credit scores should be free anyway? Please post your comments below.