Are banks the only ones looking at my FICO score, and do they have to pay the same fee I do?
No and no. The sites show a scale of interest rates for different types of loans, but did you know that your insurance agent also uses an insurance score to help determine your premiums? The Fair Isaac Company developed the first insurance scoring model in 1998 and there have been some updates since then. Concrete information on this subject is very sketchy, but my personal insurance agent told me that home owners’ policies cost up to 40% more if your credit is in the toilet, but vehicle insurance premiums more than double with bottom-of-the-barrel credit scores. I asked if I could get a table with this information and was told that I couldn’t. Farmer’s Insurance is not using the FICO score specifically, but they do have a score-based model that uses credit report data.
Employers are relying more on credit scores for hiring decisions and for promotions, but it doesn’t stop there. Many utility companies will require a deposit prior to connecting service and some are using your credit score to determine your kilowatt/hour RATE! Just imagine, you might be paying more for electricity soon based on a low credit score.
I’m sure that no one is surprised to find that banks and insurance companies pay a fraction of what you pay to get the same information. On Myfico.com you will pay $15.95 to get FICO Standard, which only provides scores and bureau information for Equifax and Trans Union. Due to an on-going law suit between Fair Isaac and Experian, you cannot purchase your Experian FICO score at Myfico.com. As a national mortgage lender, we can purchase all three FICO scores with the matching bureaus for $9.86. I’m sure the big banks get an even better discount.