How to Get a Free FICO Score

How to Get a Free FICO Score

What if I told you that you could get your FICO score for free?

Well, you can. While many banks and credit cards offer free FICO scores, there’s one source where you can get your FICO Score 8 for free without signing up for a new checking account or credit card.

How to Get a Free FICO Score Through Experian

Experian offers each person access to their FICO score for free. 

By utilizing the Experian app or website, you can create an account and view your Experian FICO 8 credit score for free. This score is updated monthly. 

(The most widely referenced credit score version is FICO Score 8.)

The score comes with a full Experian credit report. The layout is nice, and it’s easy to print if you want to:

Experian credit report page screenshot

As seen above, it’ll start with your Experian FICO score, then will summarize your credit report. It includes how many account you have, your overall credit usage, and a summary of total debt.

The rest of the credit report will show your personal information and the details of each account.

Your account will also come with guidance on improving your credit score, including the Experian Boost tool as well as credit monitoring.

Below, we’ll detail the simple sign-up steps for obtaining your free FICO score.

Step 1: Create Your Account

First, you’ll need to create an Experian account. You can do this through the app or website.

Screenshot of the login page from a cell phone

You’ll need to enter your name, address, and specify a password. 

It is important to note that when you select “Create Your Account”, you’ll be automatically agreeing to Experian’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Step 2: Verify Your Identity

Next, you’ll need to enter important information to verify your identity. This includes: 

  1. Last 4 digits of your Social Security number
  2. Your date of birth
  3. Your phone number

This information needs to be accurate.

You will never be prompted for your full Social Security number, and creating an account will not damage your credit. 

Step 3: Complete Validation Questions

As a part of verifying your identity, Experian will ask you a series of validation questions. These will be multiple-choice questions. 

The questions can cover anything that appears on your credit report, including creditor names, payment amounts, and employment info.

This section is timed, and if the questions are not answered correctly, you will not be able to proceed.

Step 4: Setup Account Security

Once you have successfully passed through the validation questions, you will have the option to improve your account security. 

You can choose a security question from the drop-down list and enter your answer. You’ll also be asked to create a 4 digit PIN. 

Step 5: Review Your Credit Profile

Your account setup is complete. You now have access to your FICO 8 credit score (for Experian only). 

 

Take time to review your key score factors to look for any problems and explore Experian’s suggestions for improving your credit score. 

You can also upgrade your account for $24.99/month to view credit scores for all three credit bureaus, more FICO scores from Experian, and your credit reports from all three credit bureaus.

Garit’s Tip: You can upgrade to the full subscription on a 7-day free trial, if you include your credit card. I recommend that you do this. Quitting is really easy - you can do it 5 minutes after you sign up from within your account. Just upgrade, access all of your reports and scores, then quit. I’ve done this multiple times over the years and it always works.

Getting your FICO 8 score from all three bureaus lets you see if one of your bureau’s scores are way different than the others:

 

And you can check on your other FICO scores based on your Experian credit report. They give you one for mortgage, auto, and credit card lending. 

If you’re looking to apply for a new loan or credit card, you’ll definitely want to look at those!

You can download a pdf version of your credit reports and credit scores or print them off. 

Step 6: Use Experian Boost to Increase Your Credit Score

As an added bonus step, Experian offers you the opportunity to instantly increase your credit score using their Boost feature. 

By linking your bank account, the Boost tool will look for recurring payments to utility providers and streaming services. They will then add this payment history to your Experian report to help boost your credit score. 

Try Experian Boost


Credit Card Issuers That Provide Free Credit Scores

Many credit card companies now provide their customers with free credit scores. Some even go one step further and offer non-customers access to their credit scores. 

Though not all of these free credit scores will be FICO scores, below is a quick summary of what each credit card company provides. 

Comparison of Free Credit Scores Offered By Credit Card Companies

Credit Card Company Scoring Model Credit Bureau
Discover FICO TransUnion
Capital One VantageScore TransUnion
American Express VantageScore TransUnion
Chase VantageScore Experian
Wells Fargo FICO Experian
Bank of America FICO Experian
Citi FICO Equifax

Discover 

The Discover It card is a great credit card, with some versions geared towards those with good credit, others towards students, or those with poor credit.  

This card comes with the Discover Credit Scorecard feature, which provides you with your FICO score refreshed once every 30 days.

The great thing about Discover is that it gives away free FICO scores to anyone – not just credit card holders.

Capital One 

Capital One’s QuicksilverOne card is geared towards those looking to build credit. You’ll need fair credit to apply. 

This card does come with a $39 annual fee and a 26.99% APR. 

To help you build credit, after six months of on-time payments, Capital One will automatically review your account to see if you qualify for an increased credit line.

You’ll also have access to their CreditWise tool which provides you with your TransUnion Vantagescore. The CreditWise tool has its own app that you can download on any Apple or Android device.

American Express 

The Blue Cash Preferred Card by American Express is one to get once you have achieved excellent credit. 

This card can demand excellent credit because the rewards earning potential is very high. You get 6% cashback on groceries and streaming services, as well as 3% back on gas and transit (tolls, Uber, etc.). Plus 1% back on everything else!

The card does come with a $95 annual fee after the first year. 

As with all Amex cards, this card comes with the MyCredit Guide tool, which provides you with your VantageScore from TransUnion. 

Chase 

If you are looking for a credit card to help you pay off debt, then the Chase Slate Edge with its balance transfer offers could be a good choice. 

This card has a $0 annual fee and comes with an introductory 0% APR offer on balance transfers for 18 months, though you will have to pay a transfer fee. 

The Chase Slate Edge card also rewards you for good behavior. 

At the six month mark, your credit limit may be increased after spending $500. 

At the 12 month mark after spending $1000, your APR could be reduced. Each year you could receive up to a 2% APR reduction until your card reaches the Prime Rate plus 9.74%.  

The card also comes with the Chase Credit Journey tool that provides your VantageScore by Experian. 

Bank of America

When you have bad credit, it may be easier to get started with a secured credit card like the Cash Rewards Secured Card from Bank of America.

This credit card does not charge an annual fee, but you will have to put up a security deposit (minimum $300). And the standard APR is 23.99%.

Unlike some other secured credit cards, this card lets you earn rewards with 3% cashback on a category of your choice, i.e., gas, dining, online shopping, drug stores, home improvement/ furnishings, or travel. And 2% cashback on grocery stores and wholesale clubs. 

To help you build credit, Bank of America offers you education resources as well as a free FICO credit score updated monthly.

Conclusion

There are a few options for obtaining a free FICO credit score. You can go directly to the credit reporting agency Experian or see if your bank or credit card offers a free FICO credit score. 

We reviewed Experian the most heavily here because it gives you the most comprehensive data for free.

Just be aware that some credit card companies provide a VantageScore instead. Check out our FICO vs. Vantage article for more information on the differences between these scoring models.

Whether you choose to do the simple sign-up through Experian or explore the credit tools built into your credit card, the important part is to stay informed. Know your credit score and learn how different actions can impact it. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.