FICO Credit Scores
FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) credit scores are numeric values from 300 to 850 that indicate your past credit habits. Your score gives lenders an indication of the risk they will take if they loan you money. In general, the higher your score, the more likely you are to repay the loan when due. The higher your credit score the better the interest rate you can obtain on mortgages and automobile loans. Credit score tiers are subject to the lenders discretion. A sample tier sub-divided is as follows:
Sample Credit Score Tiers
- 720 850 Excellent
- 700 719
- 675 699 Average
- 620 674
- 560 619
- 500 559 Poor
Identity theft can lower your FICO credit score since loans falsely taken out in your name are typically not paid back.
Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the 3 most commonly used credit reporting companies. Each company determines your FICO credit score using that company's unique criteria. Since your 3 scores may vary, lenders tend to use the middle score when determining the interest rate to offer you.
Free Annual Credit Report
The federal goverment passed a law that entitles you to a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of these 3 credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You may obtain this report at AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228. More information may be obtained at The Federal Trade Commission's web page regarding Free Annual Credit Reports.
Credit Reporting Companies
Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc. (www.equifax.com)
PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374, tel: 1-800-685-1111
P.O. Box 2104, Allen, Texas 75013, tel: 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion LLC (www.transunion.com)