Coming Soon in Your Monthly Credit Card Bill: Your FICO Score -- for Free

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By Elizabeth Dexheimer

More U.S. banks may soon give free FICO credit scores to millions of card customers along with their monthly bills as Discover Financial Services (DFS) extends the offering to all of its cardholders.

FICO (FICO), formerly known as Fair Isaac Corp., is negotiating with some of the largest credit-card issuers, Anthony Sprauve, the San Jose, California-based firm's senior consumer-credit specialist, said in a phone interview, declining to identify the banks.

Discover, which began providing the scores to some clients in November, will now furnish them to all consumer cardholders, the lender said in an e-mailed statement.

'Jammed Space' on Statements

"It really does come down to the technology-implementation challenges," Sprauve said. "You're talking about millions of customers, a tremendous amount of data, and how do you squeeze more data in an already jammed space" on monthly statements, he said.

FICO scores are used in lending decisions, such as for issuing credit cards or setting interest rates on home loans, and are the most widely used credit-scoring formula in the U.S. They previously were available at a cost or through online trial subscriptions.

Barclaycard (BCS) and First National Bank of Omaha in Nebraska were the first to offer free FICO scores to some customers in November.

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