Getting your credit score often requires you to pay a fee, or apply for a loan or credit card without knowing exactly where you stand. But, that is all about to change! Some credit cards are now offering free credit scores, and they are printing them right on the credit card statements.
Because knowing your credit score, and monitoring it carefully should be so important, some banks are now making this one of the regular options for their customers. Barclays, Discover and First Bankcard are leading the way, letting their customers know what their credit score is—at no extra cost to the customer!
Discover is the first credit card company to offer the credit score right on the statement, for Discover it® cardholders. Other Discover cards are expected to follow suit soon, and provide the same information for their customers. With a FICO score appearing on your credit card statement each month, it is incredibly easy to keep close tabs on the number.
Should it go up or down, you can quickly evaluate why this happened (e.g., if it goes down slightly when you get a new loan or incur large credit card debts, or go up after you pay off a loan or debt). Barclays and First Bankcard customers can get their credit score easily, just by logging into their website.
Following in the footsteps of Discover, Barclays is now giving customers easy access to their credit scores. Customers can access their scores by logging into their online Barclays account. Not only are they providing credit scores, they are offering some great tools that help to monitor your spending and track patterns. This is a huge advantage for those trying to create or maintain a healthy budget and keep track of where their money goes each month. Information is available about spending habits for a full 12 months, which allows you to really make sure you are staying on track.
In addition, you can sign up for free credit alerts, and be notified when your credit score changes. With credit card fraud being at an all-time high, this provides a great layer of security.
3. First Bankcard
Another bank that is taking steps to help consumers keep better track of their credit scores and financial health is First National Bank. First Bankcard can now access their credit scores by logging into the website at any time. First National Bank offers tools to help customers understand what might be affecting their credit score, and gives some tips about how to raise it. By taking charge of your financial health, First National Bank realizes you will be a better customer and a better consumer. Information is power!
Why Knowing Your Score Matters
When it comes to your credit score, knowledge is power. Having information that includes your exact credit score means that you can really make some important changes and moves toward improving your credit score, perhaps even helping you move from “fair” to “good” or even “excellent.” It’s easy to ignore a bad credit score when you have to work hard to find out what it is, or pay money. When it appears right on your statement, or you can check it regularly by logging into a website, you are faced with the numbers—which can inspire you to improve it when necessary!
Your FICO score is calculated based on multiple factors, and ranges from 300-850, with higher being better. The higher your credit score, the better the credit card interest rates and loan rates you will be eligible for.
Apply For Credit—Worry Free!
Knowing your credit score can take a lot of the worry and wonder out of applying for a new loan. For instance, if you are in the market for a new car, the salesman may ask you if you know your credit score. Although some people do keep tabs, having it reported to you each month means you will know the exact answer to the question. You will have a much better idea of whether or not you will qualify for the loan, or what kind of interest rate you can expect, when you are fully aware of your credit score. This is usually the number that your approval and interest rate is based on, and probably the most important deciding factor.
What it All Means
Don’t become too terribly obsessed with your credit score when it appears on your statement every month, but do pay some attention to make sure it doesn’t vary widely or change dramatically. Worrying about a few points here and there is not really worth your time or energy.
More importantly, customers should make sure that they are reviewing their entire credit report at least once per year to make certain that all of the information is correct and that there are no errors that need to be addressed. You can check it for free annually at AnnualCreditReport.com. Keep in mind, this will not provide your actual credit score. For an idea of your score, you’ll need to use a site like CreditKarma.com or CreditSesame.com, or hold one of the above mentioned credit cards.
The free credit score that is reported on your Discover statement or on the Barclays or First Bankcard websites is going to be a number that is based on the three different numbers, but derived in a slightly different manner through FICO, not the credit bureaus.
Bottom line: Responsible consumers stay on top of their credit, have a good sense of how much money they owe, and are aware of all loans and credit card accounts that are open in their name. Discover it continues to make it as easy as possible, by providing the FICO score right on the monthly statement, with no need to log into any account. But, with other banks providing this type of online access, more consumers are able to keep close tabs on their finances. Once it becomes difficult to keep track of the information, you probably have too much open credit and it is time to clean up that credit report!