Credit Card Guide
Follow Us  twitter facebook You Tube Google+
Credit Cards > Credit Card News > Credit Score > Get FICO Scores for Free: FICO Score Estimators


Get FICO Scores for Free: FICO Score Estimators

By Eva Norlyk Smith, Ph.D.
May 3, 2010
email print comment

Despite advertising claims, there’s really only one way to get your free annual credit report—through, the official site where consumers can collect their complimentary credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus. But what about your credit score, that vital three-digit number that lenders place so much weight on? Is it possible to extract that little, yet crucial piece of information free of charge?

Unfortunately, the answer is no—the complementary annual credit report does not come with your FICO score. For a fee, you can purchase a separate brand credit score from two of the credit reporting agencies, Equifax and Transunion, after you receive your free annual credit report at the website. These scores, however, are socalled FAKO scores, not true FICO scores. Equifax’s ScorePower and Transunion’s Credit score are the credit bureaus’ estimations of what a person’s FICO score should be based on their own proprietary formula.

So, before shelling out $7.95 or more to get your credit score, consider using one of the many FICO score estimators on the market. The best estimators offer valuable indicators as to what a consumer’s true FICO is. While there are many different types of credit scores, FICO scores are by far the most commonly used. According to Fair Isaac, the company that developed FICO scores, 90 percent of the largest banks use FICO scores when making credit decisions.

Here are several resources for some of the best FICO score estimators: Simple, easy and fast. Answer ten questions about your finances and past payment history, and in less than three minutes,’s FICO Score Estimator, will give a fairly accurate estimate of your true FICO score. Bankrate’s FICO Score Estimator is offered in collaboration with, created by Fair Isaac, the company which originated FICO scores. On this free membership site, consumers can access a credit score developed through CE Analytics, which uses their Experian credit report data in its calculations. The site’s CEO, Todd Albery, claims that the Quizzle FAKO score comes closest to the actual FICO out of all formulas the company has tried. The site also offers a variety of credit improvement tools for consumers looking to invest in such products and services. If you’re the more visual type, gives a good overview of the steps to estimate FICO scores. The site contains a ‘cheat sheet,’ which gives you the answer that would give you the most points on each component of the score. While that may seem like gaming the system, it’s a great way to see what it would take to make your credit score improve. is sponsored by Fair Isaac, the company that originated FICO scores. This site isn’t free, however, if you’re planning to apply for a mortgage or other large loan, paying a fee to get your real FICO score makes sense. For $15.95 provides two true FICO scores: one based on your TransUnion credit report and one based on your Equifax report (Experian-based scores are no longer offered). Why the double FICO score? Each credit bureau has its own set of information for each consumer, so the input for the FICO formula will be different depending on which bureau’s accounts are used.

The fee also gives you a look under the hood, so to speak, allowing you to discover the factors affecting your FICO score, access to your credit report. The site also offers a FICO score simulator, allowing users to estimate how much their credit score would be affected by changes to their financial situation.




Credit freezes and credit monitoring: What's the difference? - In an era of data breaches and identity theft, it helps to know what your security options are...

How these 7 credit report errors can ruin your credit score - Your credit report can provide clues to why your credit score isn't as high as you think it should be...

When to add a consumer statement to your credit report - If you have negative marks on your credit report, adding a consumer statement gives you the chance to explain your point of view to lenders ...



  If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.

Our editorial content is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

Secure SSL Technology
Secure SSL
Twitter Facebook You Tube Google+
About Us Privacy Policy Editorial Team Terms of Use
Contact Us California Privacy Rights Media Relations Site Map

Close X