creditscore

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)—It might be the most important piece of financial information about you—and it’s finally easier for you to actually get a look at it.

Big banks and credit card companies are increasingly offering customers free access to their FICO score. This score, named after the software and analytics company that developed it, is used by lenders to determine how risky you are when they are deciding whether to issue a new credit card, mortgage or auto loan.

Banks have been able to make scores available to customers for four years, a result of a FICO initiative, but they have been slow to do so. Discover Financial was the first major credit card issuer to give its customers access to their FICO scores in 2013. But banks like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup among others have adopted the program in the past year.

“This is a piece of information that grades you and judges your ability to borrow, and because it is so crucial, you should be entitled to have it,” said Chi Chi Wu, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.

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