In the previous post, we talked about how you can get your credit reports for free. In this post, we will talk about how to get the actual FICO scores for free.
FAKO vs. FICO
You might be confused if you use Credit Karma or Credit Sesame to check your credit reports. On their websites, they actually list out the scores. But those scores are not actual FICO scores. They are so called FAKO scores. Let me tell you a secret. Credit Karma and Credit Sesame actually know your FICO scores but they are not allowed to publish them on their sites. They have to pay FICO scores’ publisher Fair Isaac Corporation in order to publish the scores and it’s not cost effective enough for them to do so. The scores you have seen on their website are intentionally wrong. It’s reasonably close for people whose scores are high (720+) and low (600-) but in the mid-range, it’s not really that accurate.
How to get the real FICO scores
You can get real FICO scores every time you apply for credit such as a car loan or a mortgage. However, that will result in a hard credit inquiry on your report which will impact your FICO scores negatively. A less invasive way to get your scores is through the following popular credit cards. (See the full list on Consumer Reports):
- Discover: published your TransUnion FICO score
- Chase Slate: Monthly FICO score update from unknown bureau. This card also offers 15-month 0% intro APR.
- Citi: All consumer credit cards get free monthly FICO scores from Equifax.
- Barclay Ring Card: published TransUnion FICO score and up to 2 factors affecting your score.
You can see the scores on your monthly statements. Some of them also offer online dashboards to track your FICO scores. These are great tools for credit monitoring.
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