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One of the quickest ways to get your feet wet in the points-and-miles hobby is by taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses. However, before you can even start thinking about signing up for credit cards, there are some vital pieces of information you need to know and understand about your credit. Identifying your credit score can sometimes be an obstacle — although some credit cards do provide access to your most recent FICO score. However, Discover recently launched Credit Scorecard, which gives everyone free access to their FICO score.

Discover is the first credit-card issuer to offer everyone, not just cardholders, their FICO score for free. Earlier this year, Capital One introduced a credit tool, CreditWise, available to everyone, but it only showed your VantageScore 3.0 for Transunion credit score — not your FICO score.

What your FICO score means.
A quick visual guide to the range of FICO scores.

The new Discover service is very easy to use. Go to Discover’s website and register with your personal information. The Credit Scorecard will give you not just your FICO score, but also what is helping and/or hurting your score, as well as a summary of the data that factors into scoring. In addition, you’ll have access to resources and education materials to help you better understand your credit score and tools to help you stay on top of it.

While the average American’s credit score is pretty terrible, perhaps having access to this new info will make it easier for consumers to give their score a boost.

Know before you go.

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