SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Holders of 100 million consumer accounts in the U.S. now have regular access to FICO® Scores for free. FICO (NYSE: FICO) announced the major milestone today, less than two years after the FICO® Score Open Access program launched.
"The more consumers know about their own credit health, the better it is for everyone," said Jim Wehmann, executive vice president, Scores, at FICO. "Just two years ago we launched FICO Score Open Access with the holders of 8 million consumer accounts able to receive their FICO Scores for free, and today we have surpassed 100 million, thanks to the nation's lenders that share our commitment to consumer financial empowerment. Because the process of obtaining credit can be confusing, there's no better place for people to start than with the actual credit scores their lenders are using."
FICO® Score Open Access, the program that allows lenders to provide FICO® Scores to consumers for free, has proven beneficial for both consumers and lenders, as described in a new report published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Payment Card Center and based on data from Barclaycard, a participant in the FICO program.1
The report summarizes Barclaycard's experience providing cardholders with regular, free access to their FICO® Scores through the FICO® Score Open Access program. Among Barclaycard's findings:
- 84 percent of enrolled cardholders check their FICO Scores every month
- Credit card utilization by the riskiest cardholders generally declines after they enroll in the program
- Delinquency rates of the people enrolled in the program remain below those of their nonparticipating peers for up to nine months after enrollment
"The program aligns with our overall business philosophy of being fair and transparent," said Paul Wilmore, Managing Director of Barclaycard. "We are pleased that the preliminary data shows that cardmembers actively accessing this information are becoming better consumers of credit."
The success of the FICO program extends beyond the holders of 100 million consumer accounts. FICO® Score Open Access for Credit & Financial Counseling, launched to help the estimated one million consumers annually who are in need of credit and financial guidance, has signed on more than 30 non-profit credit counseling providers just six months after launching. The program has enabled qualified counselors, like those at New York Legal Assistance Group, to share FICO Scores along with additional credit education materials, so they can have deeper conversations with their clients and help provide a more sustainable path to rebuilding their financial health.
"This tool has provided an unprecedented opportunity for our counseling program, and the low-income, vulnerable populations we serve," said Doug Ostrov, director of financial counseling at the New York Legal Assistance Group. "By accessing individual FICO Scores, these consumers and their financial counselors can have a fruitful conversation about what these scores mean and how they can be improved to enhance a person's overall economic stability. Our clients are eagerly attending workshops where we share FICO Scores. It provides a teaching moment, where clients see for themselves what the problems are and how, together, we can make a plan to fix them. In just a few short months, NYLAG has disclosed FICO Scores to more than 500 clients – and we look forward to working with hundreds more as the program unfolds."
Eligible organizations interested in participating in the FICO® Score Open Access for Credit & Financial Counseling program may visit the FICO Community for credit and financial counseling.
The FICO® Score Open Access program is available to all financial services providers in the U.S. who use FICO® Scores to manage consumer credit. Institutions can visit http://subscribe.fico.com/open-access for further information and details.
About FICO FICO (NYSE: FICO) is a leading analytics software company, helping businesses in 90+ countries make better decisions that drive higher levels of growth, profitability and customer satisfaction. The company's groundbreaking use of Big Data and mathematical algorithms to predict consumer behavior has transformed entire industries. FICO provides analytics software and tools used across multiple industries to manage risk, fight fraud, build more profitable customer relationships, optimize operations and meet strict government regulations. Many of our products reach industry-wide adoption. These include the FICO® Score, the standard measure of consumer credit risk in the United States. FICO solutions leverage open-source standards and cloud computing to maximize flexibility, speed deployment and reduce costs. The company also helps millions of people manage their personal credit health.
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About Barclaycard: Headquartered in Wilmington, Del., Barclaycard US is the fastest growing top 10 credit card issuer in the nation. The company creates customized, co-branded credit card programs for some of the country's most successful travel, entertainment, retail, affinity and financial institutions. The business also issues its own Barclaycard branded credit cards: Barclaycard Ring, Barclaycard Rewards, and the award winning Barclaycard Arrival product series. Additional information on Barclaycard can be found at BarclaycardUS.com.
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1Nothing in the text should be construed as an endorsement by the Payment Cards Center or the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia of any organization, its products, and/or services.