Corrections or additions?
This article was prepared for the June 27, 2001 edition of U.S. 1
Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Your FICO Matters
The Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central
with offices in Trenton, says a good FICO score can make the
between getting a good rate on a loan and paying way above prime.
FICO is short for Fair, Issac & Co. and is also the name of a credit
scoring system the company created to measure creditworthiness. A
FICO score is often the first thing creditors review when a consumer
applies for a credit card, a car loan, or a home mortgage. FICO scores
are now available online at www.myfico.com for $12.95 from Fair, Issac
& Co. and the Equifax credit bureau. You get your three-digit FICO
score along with score improvement tips and your Equifax credit
The Experian and Trans Union credit bureaus also have FICO credit
Here are tips from the Consumer Credit Counseling Service
on improving FICO scores.
you what you can do to improve the score. These tips are called
codes" and many reports include at least four, including amount
past due on accounts, too many accounts with balances, or too few
accounts with recent payment history.
score goes up. It goes down when you pay late. Not surprisingly, your
pay history accounts for 35 percent of your FICO score.
make mistakes, and they provide information that goes into your FICO
score. It’s a good idea to check your credit report from time to time,
and New Jersey residents can order a free credit report from each
of the three leading credit bureaus per year. The telephone numbers
for the leading credit bureaus are: Equifax (800-685-1111); Experian
(888-397-3742); and TransUnion (800-888-4213).
that old college account could lower your score by shortening your
credit history. Your FICO score takes into account how long you have
years or more, and you could see your credit score increase.
all the time and the FICO formula will not have anything to measure.
You will need to open at least one account for six months to get a
your credit report when you apply for a credit card. Too many
can lower your score because creditors may be wary of people trying
to amass a lot of credit or who jump from card to card.
who carry balances on a lot of credit cards are a greater credit risk
than the general population.
to credit, what you don’t know can hurt you." A needlessly low
score can add hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars a year in
charges to credit card, car, and home loan payments.
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