Your FICO® scores from Fair Isaac and Company are the credit scores most lenders use to determine your credit risk. You have three FICO® scores; one for each of the three credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Each credit score is based on information the credit bureau has on file about you. As this information changes, your credit scores can change as well.
The following is provided as an educational resource. Please seek professional advice to understand your particular circumstances prior to making any decisions.
Credit scores factor in five main kinds of credit information. Listed from most important to least important, these include:
Length of credit history
Types of credit in use
Things not considered when computing credit scores include:
Race, color, religion, national origin, sex or marital status.
Age of the individual.
Salary, occupation, title, employer, date employed or employment history.
Where the individual lives.
An interest rate on a particular credit card or other account.
Certain inquiries such as promotional, account review, insurance or employment-related inquiries.
Any information not found in a credit report.
Things you can do to improve your credit score:
Pay all bills on time. One or two late payments can adversely impact your score.
Keep balances low on credit cards and other credit lines. A common rule of thumb is to keep balances below half the credit limit.
Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.
Review your credit report at least once a year from the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and contact them if your credit report contains inaccuracies. You are entitled to a free credit report each year from each of the three credit bureaus and can request them through AnnualCreditReport.com.
For more information on building credit and improving your credit score, take advantage of free credit report review and education through our partnership with BALANCE, a national nonprofit organization that specializes in personal finance and credit assistance. Contact a BALANCE counselor at 888.456.2227, or visit the BALANCE website.
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