Your FICO Credit Score for free from Discover
September 8, 2015
You’ve probably seen the Discover commercials where a person finds their credit score on their statement and calls in to ask about the new score on their bill.
It makes sense that credit card companies would make this available to their customers; I’m surprised that more of them don’t. Now that Discover and a few others have set the precedent hopefully more banks will follow suit.
Of course you can see your credit report for free once a year but a credit report isn’t your credit score and your free credit report isn’t intended for the purposes of monitoring your credit.
Credit Score Changes
The nice thing about seeing your credit score on a monthly basis is it can alert you to any big changes. If you’re paying your bills on time and not opening up more lines of credit then your score shouldn’t really change that much from month to month. But if you do see a big change then it can alert you something isn’t right.
When you miss a payment it’s typically not reported to the credit agencies right at the end of your billing cycle. When the next bill is due if you haven’t caught up on your payments then the late payment appears on your credit report.
The later your payment is, the bigger impact it has on your credit score. A 60 day late payment is worse than a 30 day late payment and a 90 day late payment is worse than a 60 day late payment – so the sooner you realize you missed payment and correct it, the better for your score.
Automated Payments & Alerts
This is why I like using automated bill pay; to make sure my bills are paid on time and to alert me if one of them isn’t. However, technology isn’t perfect. There have been times when online bill pay has had hiccups.
Most major credit cards offer alerts that will notify you about events like an upcoming bill due or when a bill is overdue. However, there are things you might not be able to get alerts for like your mortgage or car payment.
As I mentioned above by the time you miss a payment and it’s reflected on your credit score some damage has already been done. However, the sooner you catch it the better.
Credit Score Monitoring
There are credit monitoring services that will keep an eye on your score for you, most of them charge some type of fee. If you don’t want to pay for updates then the credit score on your monthly Discover it ® card statement can be another way to stay on top of your credit score. Discover allows you to view 12 months of your FICO® Credit Score for free as well as key factors in why it has changed over time.
This post is published as part of the Discover Preferred Blogger Program.
All posts by Ben Edwards