This is an improvement credit applicants can cheer about. For instance, when a house is purchased with a mortgage the borrower's credit credentials are pulled and in most cases the company providing it is Fair Isaac Corporation, the home of the well-known FICO score. It's used to get a look at the consumer's past credit history and then evaluate the future risk he may pose. Over the years it has been for most borrowers kind of a mysterious entity they hear a lot about from real estate agents and mortgage consultants but they never really got to understand what all it does. That is changing as we speak. Or in this case, write.
A few years ago Fair Isaac launched a Scores on Statements initiative that lets participating banks offer their customers a free FICO score with their online accounts. It also includes information on how they can pro-actively manage their credit ratings and this way possibly fine-tune the score before applying for a major loan like a mortgage. So far there are around 1.5 million consumers nationally who have access to this service.
Obviously there is a fee a bank has to pay to get authorized to offer the Scores on Statements program, but it still is a major step forward toward taking the veil of secrecy out of the all-powerful FICO score. Everyone ought to be in the know about where their stand on credit. It simply has too much influence on our daily lives to be ignored, from applying for a home loan to perhaps being a decisive factor in getting a job. The initiative is still very small in size but hopefully it'll gain much wider acceptance in the near future.