I originally wrote this up over at Credit Addict, but it’s important enough that I wanted to share it here, as well. Apparently Fair Isaac, the company that created the FICO score, will not be allowed to provide consumers with credit scores based on Experian’s data beyond February 14th, 2009.
In the past, you’ve been able to access your FICO credit scores based on data from all three credit bureaus (for a fee, of course) via Fair Isaac’s MyFICO.com website. While Experian has pulled out of their agreement with Fair Isaac, they will continue selling their own proprietary score directly to lenders.
This is bad news for consumers, as it means that lenders will now have access to information that their customers can’t see. Sure, you can still check your Experian credit report, but you won’t be able to see the number that really matters.
If you’d like to see your Experian score before it’s too late, your’ going to have to purchase it soon. One option would be MyFICO Credit Complete, which gives you all three FICO scores, but costs close to $50. Alternatively, if you’re okay with just receiving one of your scores, you can signup for the free ScoreWatch trial , which gives you free access to your Equifax-based FICO credit score. Note that this is a 30 day free trial, so be sure to cancel before it ends if you don’t want to be charged.
17 Responses to “Experian to Discontinue Consumer Credit Score Access”
Well… obviously,… it’s going to change very soon. Unless lenders decide not to use Experian anymore. We will have to see.
Justin, until lenders start using this other score, it is pointless to worry about it. Every lender I’ve ever dealt with has only considered the FICO score. That may eventually change, but I don’t expect it – at least not anytime soon.
Hi Daniel, there no any “real” or “fake” score. You like FICO score just because it was so widely used by the lender. If start from now, some lenders used to access Experian will start to read the score generated by Experian, then that score is the one you have to check by yourself if you happen need a loan. To insist to buy “real FICO” score at this point is meaningless. That’s why I said FICO did such a great job to make you believe that they are the only one can generate a legit score. When lenders have other options with maybe lower cost or better service that fit their need to review borrowers’ credit stats, what’s the point that you get a FICO score which they are not looking at?
Nickel, I agree – it’s crazy that they would walk away from all that profit, but I’ll never buy that fake score – I’ll only buy the real FICO score. We’ll have to see what other consumers will do – if they continue to make that fake score available for purchase.
I know that Experian and TransUnion are really frustrated about the scoring thing, so it’s not surprising that they’re no longer selling the FICO score. They want their fake score to gain ground. Good luck.
Daniel: From what I’ve read, that’s not entirely true. Yes, they will continue producing their own scores, but no they will not make them available to consumers. This seems odd to me, though, because that’s a pretty large profit center that they’d be walking away from. Perhaps you are right.
Unless I am misinformed, this isn’t as big a deal as it seems. My understanding is that Experian will no longer sell you a FICO score… but they will still sell you a score – it’s just that the score they are now selling is their made-up score… which they also sell to lenders, but no (or extremely few) lenders use anyway.
The only one of the 3 still selling an actual FICO score is Equifax.
Wow, that sucks. Especially with it being harder than ever for people to get credit and finance with the global economic crisis it’s more important than ever to have access to your score. Hopefully tehy will review this decision. Thanks for sharing this information.
Thanks for the heads-up. I hadn’t checked ours in a while and the service was quick and easy to set up and, even more importantly, easy to cancel.
With the new scoring system about to come online it will be even harder to receive and translate your credit score into something usable to the consumer.
The whole paying for YOUR OWN data is ridiculous anyways. MY credit score and MY credit report should be available for me to access anytime I want to for FREE.
If the credit bureaus want to collect information, go ahead, but then to basically hold it hostage and ask for a ransom is crazy.
I think it’s actually a good thing, not really bad as you described. FICO has been way too much a rip-offs. They made you think only they can create the ‘best’ formula. However, it’s not true. It’s only because they dominated the market in the past. Now if they can’t dominate the market anymore and suffer some competition, the consumer would get more overall benefits in the end.
Foes anyone know if this will affect the scores I get through my Amex credit program? I think it is Credit Secure? My experian is the one that is hurting right now, so I really want to watch it.
Jim: Good catch, and duly noted. I can’t actually find a way to get Experian for free, so it’s either free Equifax or pony up for Experian.
Thanks for the tip on the free trial. These are great to do but you should always remember to cancel!
Does anyone know if you can cancel online?
If it requires a phone call I’m out.
Learned my lesson on that already with the freecreditreport.com jerks…
The trial will only get you an Equifax score… but I think that’s good enough.
Once again, the playing field is tilted against the consumer . . .
Thanks for the warning.