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Fico Frequently Asked Questions

Dec 13, 2007
So, you have decided to consolidate your debts and are trying to improve your credit score. You've received the credit report, gone through it, and everything looks pretty much in order. Do you have a few questions about what FICO actually means? Don't worry, you're not the only one.

First, what exactly is FICO and what does it stand for? It stands for Fair Isaac Company, which created the most commonly used credit score on the market. It is an industry term and is a measure for your credit score.

What specifically is a credit score and what can it say about a consumer? A credit score is a numerical calculation based on many different factors. The score can be anywhere between 350 and 850. The lower the number, the worse the rating, the higher the number the better off you are.

Different factors can determine your magic number. These include: past behavior and whether you made payments on time, how much credit you had in the past, and income. A high number generally means the individual is more likely to pay on time and not lose a creditor any money. A better credit score could help you get a better deal on debt consolidation if you need it, although by the time you need debt consolidation help, it's likely your credit rating is pretty damaged.

Of course, everyone has a right to view his or her FICO scores. For more information, go to the myfico website. A lot of people don't realize how to best use their credit scores and the information that they reveal, and when you see them, you'll know whether you need to improve. Make note of which debts need to be reduced or eliminated most immediately, for a place to start. You are also able to see if there is any incorrect information on there and correct it.

You should also know that the lender looks at more than just your overall rating. There are three additional factors that will affect whether or not you can secure a loan. The first is your credit reputation or your score. The second is what, if any, collateral you have to put up against the loan. Finally, the lender will look at your general income; this will give them a clearer picture of your ability to pay the loan. Someone with a lower credit score but positive other factors may have a better chance in some instances than someone who has the opposite.

What factors affect your credit rating? Some of these things include late payments, the amount of the payment and how tardy you were in paying it. More recent instances of this will have a heavier negative impact than will something that happened a while ago. Bankruptcies, of course can also greatly affect your FICO score. How long has your credit been substandard? That can also affect your number.

Lenders may also look at include new credit applications, how much money in total you owe, how much credit history you have, and what kind of outstanding debts you have. These are all important things to remember when applying for any kind of loan or debt consolidation.

Is there a best way to fix your FICO score? Well, first, straighten out your finances. Pay your bills on time and bring current any that are past due. Although you should pay off credit cards and then cut them up if you can't trust yourself not to use them, you should not close accounts unless you will find this too tempting. This is because closing accounts can actually lower your credit score.

So, too, will opening new ones. You may want to keep one credit card for emergencies only, and put it in a container of water and freeze it, so that to get to it, you have to thaw the ice first. This will help make sure you really do only use it for emergencies. Pay credit cards off as fast as possible, starting with the highest interest rate first and making minimum payments on the others. Double-check your credit report and the information on it to be sure everything is accurate.

A final tip is that you should not apply for any new credit card debt, at least until your accounts are all current and you are credit card debt free. This will further raise your score.
About the Author
Kenneth Black is the owner of the Debt Relief Today and Debtreorg websites, all designed to help you get out of debt. Visit us to learn more about FICO scores and credit scoring .
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