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Free Discover Credit Score: How and Why You Should Get One

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Credit report with three Discover cards

Knowing your credit score is very important when it comes time to get a car loan, mortgage, or even a student loan. Your score will have an impact on what kind of interest rate you are able to get, and maybe if you’re able to get a loan at all. Discover, and 90% of other top lenders, will use FICO scores in their creditworthiness decisions. Discover will even tell you what your credit score is for free.

Discover has been offering its cardholders a free FICO score in their monthly statements for several years now, so you should definitely take advantage. In addition to offering a free look at your score, the Discover it card is a very solid cash back card offering 5% quarterly rotating cash back categories including groceries, gas stations, Amazon, and more. And it has no annual fee.

Best Discover Credit Cards with a Free Credit Score

All Discover cards come with access to your credit score, but here are some of the best cards they offer. These Discover it cards have no annual fee and 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers.

What’s in Your Discover Credit Scorecard?

In addition to showing your credit score, Discover also shows you some of what determines your it. The additional information your Scorecard will provide are the total number of open accounts you have, the length of your credit history, the number of inquiries on your credit report, your credit utilization and the number of missed payments you have.

In addition to giving you all of this information, your Discover Scorecard will provide key factors that are affecting your score–both positively and negatively. You can also see a graph of how your credit score has changed over time.

How Should You Use Your Discover Scorecard?

Your Discover Scorecard is mainly useful for two different reasons. The first reason it’s useful is for you know what your score is, and you can view your updated score every month. This gives you the ability to know where you stand when it comes time to apply for a new credit card, car loan, mortgage and more.

Secondly, once you know what your score is and the factors that are pulling your score down you can start making an effort to improve your credit score. For example, if high credit utilization is hurting your credit score, you can make an effort to pay down balances before your credit card statement closes each month. If you had a late payment in the past, you now should know that your payment history has a huge impact on your credit score and not miss any payments in the future.

Overall, your FICO score is determined by:

  • 35% is your payment history
  • 30% is your credit utilization
  • 15% is the length of your credit history10% is your new accounts opened
  • 10% is the types of credit you have

Knowing which of these factors are your strong and weak points will help you improve your credit score.

It’s also good to keep in mind that the credit score provided by your Discover Scorecard isn’t the full picture. Discover offers your free FICO score provided by TransUnion, but other credit bureaus, namely Equifax and Experian, both have slightly different algorithms that are used to determine your score.

This can result in a slight difference between your TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian scores. Furthermore, there are slightly different algorithms that can be used to approximate your score within one credit bureau. Discover uses FICO Score 8, but other lenders may use different versions of FICO Score. As a general rule, there isn’t a lot of variation between the different FICO score algorithms.

Tablet with Credit Scorecard

Overall, good financial habits will help you improve your credit score, and being able to not only see your score but see what goes into it will help you make better financial decisions and improve your score in the future.

Getting Your FICO Score

If you want to get your FICO score from your Discover Scorecard, you have a couple of options. If you have a Discover credit card, you can simply login to your credit card account and click the link to show you your free FICO score.

You don’t even need to be a Discover credit card customer in order to access your free Discover Scorecard.

You can navigate to Discover’s Credit Scorecard homepage and register for an account.

You don’t need to worry about Discover selling your information–they say right on the homepage that they won’t do that. Once you create your Discover Scorecard account, you can log in as often as you want to see your free FICO score. Your score will be updated once per month. You won’t be penalized in any way for checking your credit score, so you might as well see how it changes from month to month.

If you are ready to sign up, all you will need is your name, mailing address, email address and Social Security number. Discover will use this information to verify your identity, but they will not make a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can lower your score. You’ll also need to create a username and password and set up security questions.

Who Else is Offering Free Scores

Other issuers, including Chase and American Express, have also been offering free FICO scores to customers. Here is a list of banks that currently offer free credit scores with their credit card or charge cardholders:

  • American Express
  • Bank of America
  • Barclaycard US
  • Capital One
  • Chase
  • Citibank
  • Commerce Bank
  • First Bankcard
  • Huntington Bank
  • PenFed
  • SunTrust
  • Synchrony Financial
  • TD Bank
  • USAA
  • US Bank
  • Wells Fargo

Keep in mind that one of the biggest benefits of Discover’s Credit Scorecard is that you don’t need to be a Discover cardholder or even a Discover customer in order to get your credit score for free. All of the banks listed above only offer credit scores to their customers.

Overall, the Discover Credit Scorecard is a great way to access your FICO score for free every month without even having to be a Discover customer. While other banks offer free credit scores, they require you to be a customer in order to access your score.

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