Discover Credit Scorecard Review: Free FICO Scores From Experian For All Users
As the cost of living soars and our credit health becomes more important than ever, sites promising free access to your credit score have proliferated to meet the demand. Likewise, many credit card companies had been offering free access to consumers’ credit scores — but only to those with an account with the card issuer or bank in question.
Thankfully, this is starting to change. Enter the Discover Credit Scorecard. This service gives everyone — even those who are not Discover accountholders — the ability to access their FICO credit scorecard for free.
Discover Credit Scorecard not only gives you access to your FICO score — it also provides credit monitoring and Social Security number alerts.
Is Discover Credit Scorecard truly free? And is it safe? Let’s explore the service and answer these questions!
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What Is Discover Credit Scorecard?
Back in 2016, Discover became the first major credit card issuer to allow everybody to check their FICO scores on the company’s website for free — not just Discover cardholders.
Along with viewing your FICO score and the factors from your credit report that determine your FICO score — your total accounts, the length of your credit history in years, number of hard inquiries in the past 12 months, the percentage of your credit limit that you’re using, and number of missed payments over the past seven years — Discover Credit Scorecard also alerts you to three different types of new activity that can impact your credit score or signal potential fraud:
- Social Security Number Alerts: You’re alerted if your SSN is found on a Dark Web site.
- New Account Alerts: You’re alerted whenever any new credit cards, loans, or other accounts appear on your Experian credit report.
- New Credit Inquiry Alerts: You’re alerted when new credit inquiries appear in your name on your Experian credit report.
Is Discover Credit Scorecard Free?
Discover Credit Scorecard is completely free. You’ll never have to enter a credit card number, and there are no paid tiers offering access to extra services.
Who Can Sign Up For Discover Credit Scorecard?
Absolutely anybody can use Discover Credit Scorecard so long as you have a Social Security number. You do not need to be a Discover customer. It’s fine if you’ve never even touched a Discover credit card — you can still use the service.
Credit Scores & Reports Offered By Discover Credit Scorecard
The credit score you’ll get from Discover Credit Scorecard is your FICO score from Experian, one of the three major consumer credit bureaus.
The fact that you’re getting your FICO score is significant, as FICO is the credit-scoring formula most often used by banks and other creditors. Many competitors in the free-credit-score space, such as Credit Karma and Credit Sesame, give you your VantageScore credit score instead. While your VantageScore and your FICO score won’t typically differ too severely (and some creditors do use the VantageScore formula), your FICO score is still what most people think of when they think “credit score.” Learn about the differences between FICO and VantageScores in the Merchant Maverick guide to credit scoring models.
Note, however, that you’re getting info from your Experian credit report only, and there are two other major credit bureaus. By contrast, Credit Karma offers access to information from both your TransUnion and your Equifax credit reports, and two out of three beats one out of three. Still, with Discover Credit Scorecard, you’re getting your FICO score as opposed to your VantageScore. It’s your FICO score that is more likely to come into play when you apply for Discover credit (or any other loan/credit card product).
Your free Credit Scorecard will be updated monthly.
Note that while you’ll get select information from your Experian credit report, you won’t get access to the full report. To do that, you’ll need to go to AnnualCreditReport.com and request a copy of your credit report (it’s free).
Other Services Offered By Discover Credit Scorecard
Discover Credit Scorecard offers fewer extraneous services than many free-credit-score competitors. However, you will get access to a few important features in addition to your credit score.
Social Security Number Alerts
Discover will notify you if your Social Security number is found on any of thousands of Dark Web sites. These scans are run daily.
New Accounts Alerts
Should any new credit cards, loans, or other accounts appear on your Experian credit report, Discover will notify you. Discover will check for any new activity daily.
New Credit Inquiry Alerts
Discover will alert you whenever new credit inquiries appear in your name on your Experian credit report. Discover will check for new credit inquiries every day.
Unlike other similar services, Discover won’t show you credit card/loan offers tailored to your credit profile. The company will invite you to see if you’re pre-approved for a Discover it credit card.
Discover Credit Scorecard is a great way to keep an eye on your FICO score and the factors that go into determining your FICO score. The only downside is that you’re able to pull data from your Experian credit report, but you won’t see anything from TransUnion or Equifax. What’s more, the service doesn’t offer as many extra features as some competitors. For instance, Credit Sesame offers $50,000 in identity theft insurance for free, while Discover offers nothing of the sort. Nonetheless, free access to your FICO score is nothing to scoff at.
Should you sign up for Discover Credit Scorecard?
This service might be a good option if:
- You want access to your FICO score, refreshed monthly
- You prefer to see your FICO score over your VantageScore
- You want free credit monitoring and free SSN monitoring
You might want to use a different service if:
- You want access to your credit information from more than just one credit bureau
- You want extra features such as identity theft insurance in addition to free credit reports and credit monitoring
- You want access to paid subscription plans for a higher level of credit management services