FICO Plans to Reveal Once Secret Credit Scores

Via LearnVest By Shana Lebowitz



Imagine applying for grad school without ever looking at your undergrad transcript.

How would you know where you stood in comparison to other students, and which programs were likely to admit you?

You wouldn’t really.

Yet that’s more or less the situation many consumers have found themselves in when applying for a mortgage. Although they could see their FICO score before they applied, they could never be sure whether that was the same number the lender was seeing.

That’s because each person has dozens of scores, and lenders typically use older ones that are different from what you see if you pay for your FICO score or check it for free online.

But that all changed Monday, when FICO announced that consumers can access the exact score a lender is using—before they apply for a loan. (The fee to see your score varies, partly depending on whether you opt for a one-time or continuing subscription.)

That means consumers can now make an informed decision about whether they should wait and boost their credit score before applying.

Moreover, knowing this information early in the process means they can use mortgage-comparison sites to see which lenders offer the lowest rates for someone with a similar credit score.

The decision is FICO’s latest move to make the lending process more transparent. In 2013, FICO began partnering with lenders to let consumers see the credit scores those institutions have on them. And last month, Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase said they would began offering similar services to certain cardholders.

This specific service is designed to help clear up consumer confusion, Jim Wehmann, executive vice president for scores at FICO, told The Wall Street Journal.

In the last few years, a number of sites have started letting consumers see their credit score for free or for a fee—and people may mistakenly believe that those are the same scores lenders are using.

If you opt to use FICO’s new tools and are shocked to see a lower number than you envisioned, don’t freak out. Use these strategies to help boost your credit score, pronto.



The post FICO Plans to Reveal Once Secret Credit Scores appeared first on LearnVest.
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