Free Credit Score When You’re Denied for a Credit CardJuly 15, 2011 - 4:42 pm
Starting July 21, 2011, credit card issuers are required to give a free credit score to applicants who are denied a credit card because of a low credit score. Applicants who are approved, but get less favorable terms, e.g. a higher interest rate than what was advertised, because of a low credit score will also get a free look at their score.
Current Free Credit Report Law
By law, applicants already have the right to a free copy of their credit report when they’re turned down for credit based on information in their credit report. You have 60 days to request a copy of this credit report – it isn’t sent automatically. Adding credit scores to the required disclosures gives consumers a better view of their credit histories and presents an opportunity to improve the factors causing a bad credit score.
Federal law already allows U.S. consumers to order a free credit report every year from each of the credit bureaus (from AnnualCreditReport.com). However, this annual credit report law has never allowed applicants to get free access to their credit scores. Credit scores cost $10 to $15 per bureau. Though there are some places to order a credit score with no obligation, like CreditKarma.com and Quizzle.com, other free credit score require your credit card number and are just gimmicks to get you to subscribe to a credit monitoring service.
Who Won’t Get a Free Credit Score Under the New Law
Even when the new credit score disclosure rule takes effect, not every consumer will get to see his or her credit score for free. People with excellent credit, who get the best terms and are never turned down, won’t get a free credit score under the new law. Also, people who don’t apply for credit won’t get this free credit score. The new free credit score disclosure rule doesn’t apply to high insurance rates due to credit factors since insurance companies use an insurance score rather than credit score to make their decision. You also do not get a free credit score if you’re turned down for employment.
Enlightenment or Confusion?
The new disclosures could make credit scores more confusing since there are many credit scores out there. Some credit card issuers use the FICO credit score, some use VantageScore, and others may use their own in-house credit score or one generated by the three credit bureaus. The credit score disclosure notices are supposed to put credit scores into perspective, giving details about the credit score range and factors influencing credit score.