A handful of credit card issuers now give consumers free access to their credit scores -- a move that was "strongly encouraged" by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last month.
Barclaycard US now sends emails to customers when their credit scores change, and Discover Financial Services offers free financial management tools that complement the scores. According to FICO spokesman Anthony Sprauve, "It's the exact score that the issuer is using to manage that account." He notes that FICO is reworking existing contracts so that card issuers can offer scores directly to consumers, and it also is working with mortgage and auto lenders to do the same.
Meanwhile, Capital One Financial plans to provide credit scores to customers by mid-March, but these scores will be "educational credit scores" from the credit reporting firm TransUnion.