American Express has launched MyCredit Guide, a free credit score tool, for consumers 18 and older who want to stay on top of their credit. Available via AmEx’s mobile-optimized website, MyCredit Guide offers alerts and access to your TransUnion credit report, credit score and a credit score simulator.
The service is somewhat like a diet and fitness tracker, except it's for your financial health. Here are some features of the MyCredit Guide:
Credit score: The tool offers access to your VantageScore 3.0 by TransUnion.
Simulator: Get a preview of what could happen to your credit score before making financial decisions that can affect it. For example, you can see how canceling or opening a credit card can impact your score.
Alerts: Detect identity theft with notifications about opened accounts, inquiries made to your credit report and other activity.
Credit score summary: Get a full view of the factors affecting your credit score, such as available credit, credit history length, ongoing balances, on-time payments and more.
Credit score history: Track your progress on a line graph to see how your score has fluctuated over time.
Score Goals: Set a goal, and this tool will give you personalized recommendations to help you get there in specified timeframes of six-, 12-, 18- and 24-month periods. The tool tracks your progress and gives recommendations in four categories: payment activity, percentage of credit used, debt and balances and new/recent credit. When you log in, you’ll see a visual of your progress toward your goals.
MyCredit Guide doesn’t offer FICO scores, which are the preference for many lenders. Still, you get an updated weekly credit report upon logging in, allowing you to stay on top of recent changes to your credit.
Using the tool does not impact your credit score like a hard inquiry by an issuer would.
Non-AmEx members have to create an account. Current AmEx cardholders can use their account login information, but they still have to complete a one-time enrollment process. American Express requires a Social Security number, birth date, address and email to create a MyCredit Guide account. You will have to answer questions to verify your identity. The tool also provides access to pre-qualified offers.
American Express isn't the only issuer to offer a credit score tool for consumers. Capital One was the first major bank to make credit scores accessible to the public. Included among the tools currently available are Capital One’s CreditWise, Chase’s Credit Journey and Discover’s Scorecard.