New final rules issued by the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Reserve Board went into effect July 21st that allow some consumers to receive their credit scores for free. Yet, there is one big catch.
This benefit only affects people who have applied for a loan and been rejected or offered less-favorable loan terms. To receive your free score, then, you have to apply for a loan and pay the application fees. Also, when you apply for a loan, you authorize the lender to pull your credit report. This activity can lower your credit score.
If you qualify in this manner for your free credit score, the lender must also give you a disclosure form showing the score used in their decision, which reporting agency it came from, how it compares to other scores, and reasons why it is so low. This can certainly give consumers insight on how to improve their credit and why good credit is so important.