SAN JOSE, Calif. (11/6/13)--A major consumer credit rating agency announced Monday that it's partnering with lenders to make its credit scores available for free.
FICO, an analytic and decision management company, said that it will work with Barclaycard US and First National Bank of Omaha to publish credit card customers' scores in their digital and paper account statements.
The revelations will also offer context, with the banking partners providing cardholders with the top two components of the rating influencing their overall scores.
The initiative, called FICO Score Open Access, comes as regulators press lenders to be more forthright with customers.
Previously, consumers could pay to receive scores on MyFICO.com. Individuals whose applications for credit are rejected also receive their FICO scores.
But not all lenders use FICO scores when rating customers' creditworthiness. A 2012 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study found that 25% of educational credit scores sold to customers were "meaningfully different" from credit scores used by financial institutions (American Banker Nov. 4).
FICO, a unit of Fair Isaac Corp., calculates consumers' credit scores using payment history, outstanding debts, length of time with credit, new credit applications, and types of credit currently being used, with the first two factors being the most influential.