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FICO Score - Do You Know Yours ?

Aug 17, 2007
Your FICO score is incredibly important to your financial status, credit status and how lenders look at your credit report. Here is what you need to know about your credit rating.

Your FICO score is simply your credit score. According to the CreditScoring website, the average American's score is 686, with an average credit card debt of about $8,400 with an interest rate of about 13%. With that example, it would take an average person to pay off that debt approximately twenty-four years. In this light, it is extremely important to maintain as high a rating as possible. It can really save you a lot of money in the long run.

Credit report scores have a range of 350 to 850. The higher your credit rating is, so much the better. Since most Americans average number of points of 686, that is about right in the middle and is not so good. You want it to be higher. You want your FICO score to be the highest you can get it.

Here is a scale to help you determine where your FICO score is :

780 to 850: Excellent
720 to 799: Good
680 to 719: Average
620 to 679: Poor
550 to 619: Very Poor
549 to 350: Fail

As you can see, where your credit score weighs in is very important. If you have a rating of below 680, you will want to raise that score higher to help you save money and get approved by lenders.

Here are the 3 Tips to improve your FICO score:

1. Pay Your Bills When They are Due

You need to be able to pay all of your bills on time, especially your credit card bills, loan payments and anything else with interest. Don't go overboard and spend beyond what you can afford. This is what gets most people into a credit card debt that is very difficult to get out of. Some even have to claim bankruptcy just to get their lives back. We don't want this happening to you. Pay your bills on time every time and keep everything out of collections.

2. Maintaining Your Balance

Keeping your credit card balance at a good place can also help you keep up your FICO score. Even though you have a platinum card with a $10,000 spending limit, you should not spend $10,000 with that card. Keep it around $4,000 or lower. Maintain the balance on your credit cards, and make sure that you can always pay the bill when it comes in, no matter what.

3. Keep Your Credit Card Account Open

Even though you don't use that old credit card anymore, don't bother closing the account. Keep it open even if you are never going to use it again. This will help keep your score up. It shows that you can have a credit card, but you don't have the need to use it all the time. That is a good thing, no doubt about it.

Now that you have had a little lesson on your FICO score, it would be a good idea to get your credit report from all three bureaus and see what your score is. Then you can get to work to raise that score!
About the Author
Ken Black is the owner of Debt Relief Today, a website all about debt consolidation, credit counseling and Credit Scoring .
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