Everyone knows that a good credit score will help you get the loan you need to buy a home, car – whatever it is you want. Lenders have long been using the FICO credit score to determine a potential borrower’s creditworthiness, and now, consumers have more access to their score than ever before.
In the last few years, we’ve seen more credit card companies and banks offering free FICO scores. But in order to see your score, you have to have an account or credit card with the company.
Discover is trying to change this trend with its Discover ScoreCard offering. Unlike other credit card companies, Discover doesn’t require you to be an accountholder to see your score.
But should you sign up for this service?
In this Discover credit ScoreCard review, we’ll take a closer look at what this service has to offer.
What is The Discover ScoreCard?
The Discover Credit ScoreCard is a free online tool that gives you access to your FICO score any time. It also allows you to see which factors are helping or hurting your score. It’s similar, in a way, to Credit Karma.
Registered users also have the option of seeing how much of their available credit they’re using, the length of their credit history, how many missed payments they have and other factors that affect their score.
Is Credit ScoreCard Really Free?
Yes, Discover’s ScoreCard service is completely free. And it won’t hurt your credit either. You don’t have to be a customer, and Discover will never sell your information.
How Can I See My Score?
To be able to see your FICO score, you’ll need to provide Discover with some personal information, including your:
- Social Security Number
- First name
- Last name
- Street address
- Birth date
You’ll also need to be:
- 18 years of age or older, and
- A U.S. resident, or
- A resident of: Guam, America Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico
Some people may not be able to see their score, even if they meet the above requirements, because:
- Their credit history is too new
- Personal information is mismatched or missing
How Often is My Score Updated?
With Discover’s ScoreCard, your FICO score is updated every month, or each time you log in.
Checking your score will not affect your score, so you can feel free to check it any time you please.
Did you know that 88% of people will have their score change by up to 20 points month-to-month? ScoreCard gives you the ability to check your score each month, so you can keep an eye on your credit and take action immediately if something is suspicious.
How is Discover’s FICO Score Calculated?
How is the Discover credit score calculated? Discover uses information from your TransUnion credit report to generate your FICO score.
Several factors will affect your score, some more than others. Here’s how the ScoreCard score is calculated:
- Payment history (35%): Payment history is given the most weight because it serves as your track record for making payments. If you’ve never missed a payment, there’s a good chance you’ll continue that trend into the future.
- Amount owed (30%): The ratio of your total available credit and the amount of credit used. High credit utilization will negatively affect your score.
- Credit history length (15%): Considers the age of your oldest account as well as the average age of all of your accounts.
- New credit accounts (10%): In addition to the new credit accounts you’ve opened, this factor also considers the number of inquiries you’ve had.
- Types of credit (10%): Considers the number of accounts you have and their types. People with higher scores usually have a history of being able to manage different kinds of credit, such as installment loans, mortgages and credit cards.
Why is My FICO Score from Somewhere Else Different?
It’s important to remember that your FICO score may change from month to month. As the information on your credit report changes, your score will also change.
If you obtained your FICO score somewhere else a month ago, your score may be different today.
Also, FICO scores may be generated using different models and different data. It’s not uncommon for each credit bureau to have different information. For example, your data from Experian may be different from TransUnion’s data. If you obtained your score from a company that uses Experian, your score may be different from your Discover FICO Score (which uses data from TransUnion) even if you obtained them on the same day.
Should I Sign Up for Discover ScoreCard?
Discover’s ScoreCard gives you the opportunity to see your score any time you please, for free and without damaging your credit. There’s no catch (you don’t have be an accountholder). Everyone can benefit from knowing their score, especially if they have poor credit or plans to make a big purchase in the near future.