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What is in my FICO Score?

How do I check my credit report?

AnnualCreditReport.com

Visit AnnualCreditReport.com for a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. NOTE: The free service includes your credit report, not a FICO score.

You can get all three at once or request one every four months to monitor your credit score all year.

Avoid credit reporting sites that claim to be free. They may actually charge for membership or other fees.

AnnualCreditReport.com is the official site to help consumers obtain their free credit report.

You can request your report:

Online: annualcreditreport.com

By phone: 1.877.322.8228

By mail:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

Free credit reports requested online are viewable immediately upon authentication of identity.

What does my score mean?

35%: Payment History
Lenders want to know if you have paid your bills on time, so this is one of the most important factors in your score.

30%: Amounts Owed
You may have other credit accounts and owe money, but that doesn’t mean your score will be low.

15%: Length of Credit History
A longer credit history is usually beneficial to your score. If you have a short credit history, your score can still be high if you have handled your accounts well.

10%: Types of Credit Used
Your score is based on your credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts, and mortgage loans.

10%: New Credit
Opening several accounts in a short period of time can make you look like you’re a greater risk, especially if you don’t have a long credit history.

Your Credit History Affects: Employability, Lease Terms, Insurance Rates, Mortgage Eligibility and Rates

The FICO Score Scale

Excellent: Between 760 and 850

Very Good: Between 700 and 760

Good: Between 660 and 700

Below Average: Between 620 and 660

Poor: Between 580 and 600

Very Poor: Between 500 and 580

How can I get and keep a good score?

Do:

  1. Pay your bills on time.
  2. Dispute errors found on your free credit report.
  3. Set up automatic reminders or payments of bills online.
  4. Pay down debt to within 20-25% of your credit limit.

Don’t:

  1. Close unused credit cards as a short-term strategy to raise your score.
  2. Open a number of new credit cards that you don't need, just to increase your available credit.
  3. Open a lot of new accounts too rapidly.

Spot an Error?
An error on your credit report can result in a loan being denied or you paying higher rates. If you find an error on a credit report, notify the credit bureau in writing.1

Can I still get credit if I have a low score?
You may still be able to get credit with a low score; however, you may have to pay higher interest rates.

Will my poor score cause problems for me in the future?
You may be able to qualify for loans and better rates if you take steps to improve your score. Start by reducing your debt and paying bills on time.

Is there a way I can get a car loan if I’m only 20?
You can still qualify for a loan. Things like race, gender, and age are not included in the scoring.

How to Improve your FICO Credit Score

  • Pay all bills on time.
  • Maintain a mix of credit — mortgage, credit card, car loan – for example.
  • Don’t increase debt obligations right before applying for a mortgage.
  • Keep fewer cards for a longer period of time.
  • Don’t owe a lot of money to a lot of people.

90% of all credit decisions involve your FICO Score.

What's NOT in my FICO Score?

  • Age
  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Origin
  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • Salary
  • Occupation
  • Title
  • Employer
  • Date employed
  • Work history

Resources

1 https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0291-disputing-errors-credit-reporting-companies

https://www.myfico.com/credit-education/whats-in-your-credit-score/

https://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/FactsFallacies.aspx

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/ficoscore.asp

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/04/122304.asp

http://creditcards.lovetoknow.com/FICO_Score_Chart

https://www.myfico.com/credit-education/improve-your-credit-score/

https://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/Rights/MissingAccount.aspx

http://hffo.cuna.org/15111/article/3749/html

http://hffo.cuna.org/15111/article/3591/html

http://hffo.cuna.org/15111/article/3735/html