Credit scores play a major role in one’s life when it comes to making major financial decisions, like applying for a home loan, car loan or personal loan. A good credit score helps you borrow money at the lowest cost and from the best lenders. Your credit is one of your most important assets – one number says it all.
Your FICO (Fair Isaac Company) score is a three digit number that represents your credit worthiness and loan risk. It ranges from 300-850.This single number has an incredible influence on how you are viewed by companies with which you want to do business. According to myFICO.com, “90 percent of all financial institutions in the U.S. use FICO scores in their decision-making process.”
The Fair Credit Reporting Act legislation enables you to obtain one free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the major reporting agencies:
- Equifax Score:1-800-685-1111,www.equifax.com
- TransUnion Score: 1-800-916-8800, www.transunion.com
- Experian Score: 1-888-397-3742, www.experian.com
Get your Credit Score for Free:
The credit report obtained from the above agencies does not include a credit score. To obtain your credit score from AnnualCreditReport.com you have to pay a small fee. But, there are agencies that help you to access your credit score for free, like http://www.creditkarma.com/. You may also find your credit score for free, when you apply for any financial loan to purchase a car or home. The loan officer will pull your credit scores to determine your creditworthiness and what he can offer you. For additional information on how to find credit scores, please visit www.bills.com.
According to myFICO.com, the following factors determine your credit score:
Credit Scoring Levels – Excellent, Good and Bad:
There is no universal formula for interpreting credit scores, it depends on the lender. Each lender uses its own judgment regarding scores. In general, the following scores are considered excellent, good, and bad credit scores:
Excellent Credit Score: A credit score above 720 is considered excellent and helps you get approved for a low interest rate loan.
Good Credit Score: A credit score from 660 and 720 helps you get the line of credit or Mortgage from the lender easily and for a reasonable interest rate.
Bad Credit Score: A credit score from 600 and 660 is considered a fair score. But, a score below 500 is considered very poor credit. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it is impossible to get loans, but you may get loans at a very high interest rate.
The average score for all U.S. consumers is well above 700, which means that most people who use credit have a well established credit history, relatively few open accounts, low account balances with high limits, no missed or late payments, and no bankruptcies in the last 10 years.
Ways to improve your score:
Having a bad credit score is not the end of it all. Bad credit score can be fixed over a period of time. It usually takes seven and a half years for negative information in your credit history to disappear.
The best way to improve your credit score is to pay bills or loans on time. This will help you to avoid late payments. Avoiding late payments is a great start to your credit history.
For additional information on how to improve your credit score, please visit the FTC website to learn more.