Getting Your Credit Score from a Bank

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Getting Your Credit Score from a Bank

Your bank may be a good place to obtain your credit score. Your credit score is a numerical calculation that lenders use in conjunction with your credit record to assess the risk of issuing you a loan or credit.

Each of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, offers a free credit report. With the exception of Experian, seeing your real credit score will cost you money. The good news is that you may be able to get your credit score for free from a bank or credit card company. 12 Here’s how to find out what your credit score is.

Key Takeaways

  • Credit scores are key creditworthiness indicators that may influence whether you receive a loan, what interest rates you pay on loans, and other factors.
  • Credit companies and the government provide individuals with limited access to their entire credit report for free.
  • Banks and credit card companies, on the other hand, are increasingly providing their consumers with free access to routinely updated credit scores, as well as credit updates and notifications.

How Your Credit Score Is Calculated

The most prevalent sort of credit score is the FICO score. It is computed using many bits of information from your credit report, including: 3

  • Payment history (35% ) – Making regular on-time payments with no bankruptcies or defaults demonstrates solid financial management.
  • due amounts (30%) — Your credit usage ratio, or the amount of debt you have compared to your credit limitations, is an essential metric.
  • Credit history length (15%) — The longer the better.
  • Credit mix (10%) – Having both revolving and installment credit is advantageous.
  • 10% new credit — Too many recent credit applications, which result in a rigorous credit check, will reduce your score for months.

Your credit score influences your ability to qualify for various sorts of credit, such as auto loans and mortgages, as well as the conditions you’ll be provided. In general, a better credit score makes it simpler to qualify for credit and secure favorable conditions. 4 Because your credit score may be so important, it’s important to maintain track of it and seek to improve it when required.

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Can I Get a Free Credit Score from My Bank?

It used to be that if you wanted to check your credit score, you had to pay a fee, either for a monthly membership service or a one-time peek. However, under its FICO Score Open Access initiative, FICO (the Fair Isaac Corporation) has permitted lenders to make formerly difficult-to-obtain ratings accessible to customers for free since 2013. FICO stated in December 2018 that the initiative will provide free credit scores to over 300 million consumers. Open Access is supported by almost 170 financial organizations, including eight of the top ten credit card issuers. 56

Bank of America, Citibank, Discover, HSBC, Key Bank, Merrick Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, PenFed Credit Union, Sallie Mae, SunTrust, Union Bank, and Wells Fargo are among those taking part. 7

Getting Your Score

If your bank or credit card company provides free credit scores, you should be able to see them by going into your account online or examining your monthly statement. There are other free sites available to see your credit score or credit report. If you’re wondering if it’s worth paying to view your credit score, the answer is most likely no.

If you’re unsure if your bank offers free credit scores, or if you can’t locate your score, contact customer care for help.

In addition to free credit ratings, some banks provide services to assist you understand and improve your credit score. For example, First National Bank of Omaha provides you with 24/7 online access to your FICO score and displays you which major scoring components have influenced your score. 8 Furthermore, Barclays gives your credit score as well as email notifications anytime your credit score changes. 9

VantageScore vs. FICO

It’s crucial to realize that not all credit scores are created equal, and different banks and credit card companies may provide different ratings. Soon after the FICO Score Open Access program was launched, credit agency Experian launched a similar initiative that enables banks to share their VantageScore credit score with customers.

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Today, both systems employ the same 300- to 850-point scale and apply identical criteria to determine scores, but they weight each item differently. For FICO, your payment history accounts for 35% of your score; for VantageScore, it contributes for roughly 40%. 10

As a consequence, even for the same individual on the same day, the two results will often vary. That isn’t inherently a negative thing, but it is something to be aware of so that you can compare apples to apples while tracking your grades.

What’s Free, What’s Not

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), enacted in 2003, requires all Americans to have free access to their credit reports from each of the three main credit agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) once every 12 months. 11, a site supported by the three agencies, is the most user-friendly and comprehensive site for obtaining those free reports. 12

You can also get one free credit report if you’ve been a victim of fraud or identity theft, have been denied credit, or have had a change in your current credit (interest rates, credit lines, etc.) as a result of your credit—or if you’re offered a higher interest rate from a creditor than other consumers.

However, the legislation does not allow a free yearly credit score, therefore you cannot acquire a free credit score via However, this does not preclude you from seeing those three little (or large) numbers for free. Since 2011, customers have had the ability to access the credit score used in the calculation of unfavorable credit-related actions, such as adjustments in credit limit or interest rate based on a credit score. 13

Consumers may get their FICO score from any of the three credit bureaus at for $19.95 per FICO score report. 14 You may also get a consumer version of your credit score from one of the credit bureaus or other websites. But be cautious: that figure may vary (typically greater) from your FICO score. According to MyFICO, a person’s consumer score might be up to 100 points higher than their FICO score. 15

Some Free Credit Score Sites

Many banks and credit card firms now provide their clients with a free, frequently updated snapshot of their credit score, albeit the computations differ by institution. On its website, Experian now provides a free FICO credit score. 10

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Even while freeconsumer creditscores aren’t FICO scores, there’s a strong argument to be made for scrutinizing them. “They may be wonderful indications of general credit health, warn clients to possible fraud concerns, and so on,” says ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions’ public relations manager, Thomas Nitzsche.

Regardless of the distinctions, the most credible sources to see the consumer version of your FICO score are:

  • Experian CreditWorks
  • CreditWise from Capital One
  • Credit Karma
  • Credit Sesame

These services do not ask you to give your credit card to check your score, so you may do so as much as you like for free. “The drawback is that I’ve seen these ratings exaggerated by up to 70 points higher than the FICO score that banks and other lenders would see,” says Pamela Capalad, a certified financial planner and counselor in New York City.

Also, search in your wallet for a complimentary copy of your credit score. Some credit cards, such as the Discover it Cash Back Credit Card, provide you with a free FICO score (the real deal from banks and lenders) based on your TransUnion credit report once a month with your statement. 16

The Bottom Line

Your credit score influences your capacity to get credit as well as the conditions you’ll be provided. Until recently, the credit score business was very secretive, and most consumers found it impossible (or costly) to get their score. Today, however, an increasing number of banks and credit card issuers provide free credit scores, which is very useful for customers attempting to monitor and improve their credit health.

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