Consumers can now get their FICO Credit Score for free. With a free FICO credit score, consumers can better understand their credit report and credit history. By making the credit score free, borrowers can see how their credit score will affect how much they can borrow as well as how to manage their finances and credit. They can also see how lenders will view their credit score and loan applications.

By giving consumers the opportunity to view their credit scores for free, FICO is giving consumers an opportunity to see their credit scores, consumers will be able to see if they need to take steps to improve their credit before applying for loans, like mortgages and car loans.

The FICO Score is the most common credit score used by lenders across the country. FICO says it’s offering this opportunity to help consumers get a better understanding of their credit. A recent study by the American Bankers Association showed that nearly 60 percent of Americans don’t know their credit score. This can impact a consumer’s ability to be approved for a mortgage, get a car loan, or increase lines of credit.

In addition to learning their FICO credit score for free, customers will also see the two most important factors affecting their credit score and receive educational materials to help them understand their credit score. When consumers know what their FICO credit score is, they can make steps to improve their credit score, if needed.

With interest rates still near historic lows, many people are considering buying a home for the first time or looking into refinancing their mortgage. Consumers with high credit scores will be approved for the lowest interest rates and receive the most competitive terms. Consumers should review their credit report and credit score before applying for a mortgage or loan. FICO’s release of this information to consumers gives them a way to plan ahead and determine whether their credit score is high enough to move forward, buy a home and apply for a mortgage.

A credit score is calculated using information in a consumer’s credit report. Free credit reports are available to consumers once a year through, but previously access to credit scores have required a fee. FICO’s program to offer free credit scores is a first for the company.

FICO Score Open Access” is available to all financial service providers in the U.S.  Barclaycard and First Bankcard are the first to offer it to their customers. FICO expects 25 million customers to have access to the free credit score program through participating lenders by the end of the year.