WASHINGTON — Ally Financial Inc. announced this week plans to begin offering auto finance customers free access to their FICO Score as a means to better understand their credit health, a move President Obama praised on Monday during an event to promote the Federal Trade Commission's BuySecure initiative.

Ally will kick off a  pilot program in February and expects to fully launch the service by this summer. The service will be made available to customers who use Ally Auto Online Services or the Ally Auto Mobile Pay app.

"Efforts such as the BuySecure initiative help to drive awareness of the resources available to help consumers manage their financial matters, and we commend the White House for their attention to these issues. Having free and easy access to your FICO Score is one simple measure for consumers to continually monitor their credit health and track improvements, as well as a means to know early if your credit profile has been compromised," said Ally CEO Michael A. Carpenter. "We are pleased to offer this information at no cost to approximately two million of our auto consumers later this summer."

FICO Scores will be available to Ally's auto consumers who have an online account profile. Customers can register for an online account profile at any time on Ally's website. The process will begin next month with a pilot program for a limited number of customers. 

In addition to this resource, Ally also offers free financial education via its Wallet Wise program online or through local community in-person sessions. All consumers can take the online curriculum at any time, free of charge. Ally also offers a Financial IQ quiz for consumers to test their knowledge of key topics on the Wallet Wise website.

"Access to your FICO Score is the latest addition to the free resources Ally makes available to our customers to help them get educated on their personal financial matters," said Jeffrey Brown, president and CEO of Ally's Dealer Financial Services business. "Ally has worked to advance consumer financial education for many years and since 2011, more than 61,000 consumers have taken our Wallet Wise financial literacy curriculum on the topics of credit, budget, banking and investing, and auto financing.  We continue to believe that consumer education about financial matters is among the best defense."