Published on April 6th, 2014 | by William Charles1
Capital One Finally Releases Their Credit Tracker (Free FAKO Score)
Capital One said that consumers would have access to their credit scores for free late before the end of March, that deadline has been and gone but it looks like they’ve finally added it for some card holders (not available for co-branded or store cards but will slowly be rolled out to ALL card holders).
This is an extension to their Credit Tracking tool that was originally offered with their Journey card. Originally this tool was powered by Credit Karma, but this is no longer the case. Instead the tool will be powered by TransUnion and offer consumers access to their TransUnion Educational Score.
Unfortunately they haven’t joined the FICO open access program, which gives consumers access to free FICO scores (which is the most widely used credit score by lenders). A spokesperson for Capital One says this is because the free FICO score offered by other card issuers is extremely limiting, only providing consumers with information on two scoring factors currently affecting their score.
To get access to the credit tracker you’ll need to log into your account, at the top you should see a message that says “New from Capital One: 100% Free and unlimited access to your credit score and much more. Start Tracking Now” click this and you should see your score.
- Available to select card holders only, we’ve confirmed the following cards will have access to this information:
- Capital One Quicksilver Visa
- Based on data provided by the credit bureau TransUnion
- Credit score offered is: TransUnion Educational Score
This is a pretty weak offering by Capital One, even though the open access program only offers consumers two scoring factors (e.g “credit utilization is too high” or “too many new inquiries”) it’s much more useful because it’s the same score lenders actually look at (this is not exactly true, lenders will actually look at industry specific FICO scores, but these aren’t available to consumers directly). This seems like a hurried roll out of an existing product to capitalize on all of the recent data breaches (e.g Target) in order to seem like they are giving their card holders value.
It would’ve been nice to see a score offered using at least a different credit bureau to give a point of difference. I personally wouldn’t recommend putting much stock into this score, if you have a credit card from any of the card issuers participating in FICO open access (e.g Discover, Barclay, FNBO or Walmart) look at that score instead. If you want data from a different credit bureau, use Quizzle (Equifax) or Credit Sesame (Experian). Neither provides you with a FICO score, but at least it’s based off a different credit bureau. If you’re applying for an important loan (e.g a mortgage) you should really be looking at all three of your FICO scores and the only way to do that is with myFICO (click here for myFICO promo codes that are valid for April, 2014).
Hat tip, Capital One Press Release