Your credit scores have a huge impact on your likelihood to get a loan or line of credit. That’s why it is important to take control of your credit by staying on top of your credit scores. Luckily, there are a number of places you can get your FICO credit scores for free without affecting your credit score.

Why is your FICO score important?

Your FICO score is your credit score based on the FICO system, a popular method of measuring a person’s credit. Your credit scores can have a large impact on your financial future.

Firstly, they help lenders determine if you are eligible for a loan or if you will be denied your loan. They also help lenders determine the interest rates, credit limits, and other loan terms they can offer you.

As your credit scores can greatly affect your financial future, it is also helpful to make a habit of regularly checking your scores and making any necessary changes to fix errors.

How to get your FICO scores for free

FICO scores are an extremely popular method of rating your credit scores. FICO works with over 130 financial institutions – who will check millions of consumer accounts each year. Given it’s widespread popularity, it is important you know what your FICO credit scores are.

There are two main ways to check your FICO scores for free.

Your first option is major financial institutions such as banks which offer free FICO score checks to their customers. The options may change depending on which bank it is, and which credit bureau they report to.

The second main option is through credit cards. Below we'll take a look at various places you can get your FICO score for free.

1. Bank of America

Bank of America offers many of their cardholders the ability to check their FICO scores for free. The score is based on your TransUnion credit report. The scores are updated each month.

The bank may also provide you access to other useful information about your account, such as charts which graph your credit usage from month to month and charts which compare your score to the national average FICO score.

These options can help you see how your scores measure up to others and may show you if you are on the right track towards repairing your credit.

2. Chase bank

Chase bank members may have access to their FICO scores in some situations. For instance, Chase Slate cardholders will receive their FICO scores each month. These scores may change each month and are based on your Experian credit report.

3. Ally Bank

Ally bank will also offer you a free look at your FICO scores in certain situations. As an example, Ally Bank offers a free credit score for people who use their Ally Auto Online Services or who download and use the Ally Auto Mobile Pay app. This can be a quick and simple way for Ally customers to both try additional services the company offers and also get a free FICO credit score.

4. Credit unions

Similar to banks, many credit unions will allow their clients to access their FICO scores for free. Not all credit unions offer this service however, so check with the union you belong to beforehand.

5. American express credit cards

All American Express cardholders have access to their free FICO scores through the company. They also offer their cardholders 12 months of free FICO credit history based on their Experian credit reports. The scores are updated periodically, though not as often as some other options.

6. Citibank credit cards

Citibank also offers free FICO scores for their cardholders with select Citi cards. These scores are based on your Equifax credit reports. Your scores will update every month.

7. Walmart credit cards

Retail credit cards are not the first option that come to mind when you think of credit scores, but Walmart credit cards are the rare example of retailers who will offer you free credit scores. Both Walmart Credit Card and Walmart Mastercard options offer you free access to your FICO scores through Synchrony Bank. Importantly, you must sign up to receive electronic statements to unlock this perk.

8. Discover credit scorecard

The Discover Credit Scorecard program may be one of the best ways to access your credit score, even if you are not a Discover customer.

The process is similar to other credit checks, and they will ask for your social security information and other questions to verify your identity.

Again, since this is not a hard inquiry, it will have no effect on your credit score.

The score you see from Discover Credit Scorecard is updated every 30 days, and there is no penalty for checking. Discover also offers helpful insight into other factors that affect your credit score.

The only requirement is to sign up for an online account.

Final thoughts

Your credit scores play a big role in your financial future. Keeping track of your FICO scores can help you stay on top of your credit score and make changes where necessary.

There are a number of ways to get free FICO credit scores to check up on your credit without getting a hard inquiry added to your credit report.You should take advantage of these free credit scores to keep yourself informed and help make healthy credit choices to ensure your financial future.

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