Look for credit scores on your bank statements

Figures holding magnifying glass over credit report

About 1.5 million consumers can now find their credit scores online on checking account or credit card statements.

Fair Isaac Corp., creator of the FICO credit score, is selling a new program called "Scores on Statements" to banks and credit unions.

It authorizes them to provide the scores at no cost to their customers, along with educational information to help them better manage their credit rating and buy other score-monitoring services from FICO.

So, yes, providing "free" credit scores is part of a marketing campaign to boost Fair Isaac's sales.

But it's still the cheapest, most convenient way we've ever seen for consumers to find out one of the most important numbers in their lives.

It costs at least $15.95 to buy your credit score from FICO.

Checking account customers of the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union and consumers who hold credit cards from Washington Mutual and Sears Solution MasterCard are among those who can already see their scores.

Fair Isaac is pushing other banks to sign up, so we expect the list to grow.

Your credit score is based on information from the credit histories kept by the three major credit agencies -- Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. But it's not on the credit reports you can buy from those agencies or obtain for free through AnnualCreditReport.com.

A cheap but less informative alternative is to get a free estimate of your FICO score from Fair Isaac.

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