Knowing your credit score is important. Whether you’re applying for a new credit card, mortgage, or any other line of credit, your credit score plays a very important role in not only whether you’ll be approved, but the interest rate you will receive. Having a good score can mean the difference in approval, and having an excellent score can mean savings of hundreds or even thousands of dollars throughout the course of a loan.
For more on how your credit score works, read What’s In Your Credit Score.
The unfortunate thing is, many don’t have a clue as to what their score is. Perhaps that’s because it hasn’t been made easily accessible to them, or maybe it’s because many monitoring services have charged a fee until recently.
That’s why we think it’s pretty great that Barclaycard and Discover are now offering free credit score monitoring to card members on certain cards through the FICO Score Open Access program. Just for holding one of these cards, members will receive monthly monitoring on their statements or with a click of a button. By easily tracking their score, they will be able to make steps to improve it, as well as make future plans. Knowledge is power.
Here’s how they’re doing it.
If you hold one of the following cards, you will be able to receive free monthly FICO score monitoring:
Barclaycard ArrivalTM World MasterCard® (no annual fee)
Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® (annual fee)
Barclay Rewards Card – Excellent Credit
Barclay Rewards Card – Average Credit
The Carnival™ MasterCard®
Other cards included are the Juniper and Frontier cards by Barclays.
To access this program, simply log in to your account and accept the terms of service. Card members will be able to view their score, as well as graphics that display the past 12 months of their FICO score and tools that explain how the score works. The even better news? Barclays has plans to expand their program to even more cards in the future.
Following in Barclays’ footsteps, Discover has offered the same credit monitoring benefit to Discover it® card members. If you hold the Discover It card, you will be able to view your score (based on data from the TransUnion credit bureau) on your monthly statement and by logging in to your account online. Also like Barclaycard, Discover plans to add this benefit to other cards soon!
Other Ways to Know Your FICO Score
If you don’t hold one of the cards mentioned above, don’t worry – there are still ways to know and monitor your credit score. Here are some sites that offer a free monthly credit score:
Credit Sesame (Experian)
Credit Karma (TransUnion)
You should also know that you’re entitled to a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com each year. You can request your report from all bureaus at once, or spread it out so that you’re requesting it from each one every few months. This doesn’t provide your score, but rather activity that affects your score.
For tips on improving your credit score, read Improving Your Credit Score.