Comparing Free FICO Score Offerings From Each of the Major Banks & How to Get Your Score Free!

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Free FICO Scores & Comparing Offerings from the Major Banks

Credit is central to modern American life and to our economic system. Banks use it to determine the safety of loaning money to you, employer’s use it to determine what kind of employee you may be and insurance companies use it to determine your rates. In other words, if you aren’t paying attention to your credit score then you absolutely should be.

How Your FICO Is Calculated

FICO scores are calculated by weighing a number of factors to determine your overall credit worthiness. Specifically the score is calculated as follows:

Free FICO Score

FICO also has different “scoring models” which can effect your overall score in the end. Depending on which model is used, your score can fluctuate. The current model most widely used is Model 8, however a new version called Model 9 is being rolled out. No matter the model used, the basic factors are the same. You can find the differences between the models here.

Since so many factors go into determining your score, it is likely to change often. I highly recommend visiting our FICO resource to find out what data is calculated into each of the above categories and how credit card churning affects each one.

Getting Your Free FICO Score

In 2014 major banks started giving select customers their free FICO score. While services like Credit Karma & Credit Sesame give you an estimated score, it isn’t the same as your true FICO. Thankfully five of the largest banks now give their credit card customers their actual FICO for free. These banks are: Citibank, American Express, Discover, Barclaycard & Bank of America. Below I’ll show you how to access your free FICO score from each bank.

Citibank Free FICO Score

Citibank Free FICO Score

Citibank offers a free FICO score to most of their credit card customers.

  • Bureau Used: Equifax
  • Scoring Model: Score 8
How to Find Your FICO from Citi

To access your FICO, find the link on the bottom right side of the page after you log-in to your Citi card account. The link is under the “Financial Tools” section.

Citibank Free FICO Score

Once you reach the FICO score page, you will see your score along with an explanation of some factors that are affecting your score. Even if you have very good credit, there will always be factors listed.

Citibank Free FICO Score

If you click the “Your FICO Score History” tab, Citi will also show you a chart of your credit score as it has changed month to month.

Citibank Free FICO Score

American Express Free FICO Score

American Express Free FICO Score

American Express now offers a free FICO score to all of their customers. (You may need to opt-in first.)

  • Bureau Used: Experian
  • Scoring Model: Score 8
How to Find Your FICO from Amex

Find the link on the middle right side of the page to access your free FICO score.

American Express Free FICO Score

Unlike Citi, American Express puts all of your information on one page, but they do not provide a historical graph of your score. They do however include the major factors affecting your score.

American Express Free FICO Score

Discover Free FICO Score

Discover Free FICO Score

Discover has perhaps the overall best display of your FICO score since they provide a lot of useful data.

  • Bureau Used: Transunion
  • Scoring Model: Score 8
How to Find Your FICO from Discover

To access your free FICO score from Discover, log-into your account and find the link on the right hand side of the page.

Discover Free FICO Score

In the first view you will see your current score along with a graphed historical view of your scores every month.

Discover Free FICO Score

If you click the “Table View” toggle on the top right (highlighted in red above) then you get a wealth of additional information. Not only do they provide the key factors affecting your current score, but they also provide these factors for your historical scores as well.

Discover Free FICO Score

Barclaycard Free FICO Score

Barclaycard Free FICO Score

Before any of the other major banks, Barclaycard began providing free FICO scores to their customers.

  • Bureau Used: Transunion
  • Scoring Model: Score 8
How to Find Your FICO from Barclaycard

Log-in to your account and located the free FICO score link on the menu under “Just for you”.

Barclaycard Free FICO Score

Barclaycard’s free FICO score tool is pretty barebones. On the first view it shows your score and the key contributing factors. You can click to expand the explanation of each of the factors.

Barclaycard Free FICO Score

After viewing your score, you can also click the “Your FICO Score History” tab and see a rather basic chart of your credit score by the month.

Barclaycard Free FICO Score

Bank of America Free FICO Score

Bank of America Free FICO Score

Bank of America is the most recent big bank to offer a free FICO score to customers. This feature is still rolling out to all customers, but you can opt-in here.

  • Bureau Used: Transunion
  • Scoring Model: Score 8
How to Find Your FICO from Bank of America

Once you have opted-in, you can find the link to access your free FICO score on the right hand side after logging into your account.

Bank of America Free FICO Score

Bank of America’s free FICO score tool is very pretty and displays your score, a historical chart and the contributing factors all on one page.

Bank of America Free FICO Score

Bank of America also provides more resources such as national averages and answers to commonly asked questions about FICO scores.

Other Banks

Chase doesn’t provide free FICO scores to most credit customers, however if you have a Chase Slate card you can access your score. Some other local/regional banks also give customers a free FICO score. It never hurts to ask.

Conclusion

Getting access to your free FICO score is now easier than ever. With Barclaycard, Discover and Bank of America using Transunion, Citi using Equifax and American Express using Experian, you can also see what your score looks like based on data from each of the three bureaus. Thanks to the wealth of information now available, there is no excuse for not knowing your FICO score.


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16 COMMENTS

  1. As a datapoint – i was tracking my fico number through various cards. When I came to refinance our place the loan company used a considersbly lower fico score than the cards had provided citing having open multiple lines of unused credit. This did not in the end make any difference to the loan in this case but interesting that the cards and the loan company differed in their evaluation.

  2. CapitalOne has something called a credit tracker powered by Transunion, but they describe it as “TransUnion New Account Model”, not a true FICO score I imagine?

  3. You described all the FICO scoring models above as Model 8. Can you expand on the difference between them, since Citi’s FAQs say the range on their model is 250-900 and most other banks say the range is 350-850. Thx.

  4. The best place to get your free and timely scores from both TransUnion and Equifax is CreditKarma.com. It’s not some subscription service, they don’t even ask for your credit card. Besides two scores (that are updated every Monday!) it includes access to your credit history, credit advice and tons of other neat things.
    What I don’t like about scores from my credit cards is that they seem to be behind by a couple of months.

    • Credit Karma does not provide a FICO score which is what banks use. This article is about getting your actual FICO score. With that said, I do believe Credit Karma can definitely be a useful tool. Thanks Sergei!

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