Good FICO Scores
What is a Good FICO Score?
When lenders talk about your score they usually mean the FICO score developed by Fair Isaac Corporation. It is the most frequently used scoring system. FICO scores range from 300-850 with most in the 600-800 range. A higher FICO score is better. Lenders buy your FICO score from the three national credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. A score above 700 is considered a good credit risk. A score below 580 will be difficult to get approved for a loan.
Not just one score
There are many types of credit scores. They are developed by independent companies, credit reporting agencies, and even some lenders. As a rule the higher the score the better.
- Each credit reporting agency calculates your score independently and each score may be different because the credit history each agency has for you may be different. Lenders may make a credit card or auto loan decision based on a single agency’s score. Although others such as mortgage lenders will look at all three scores.
- Your credit score changes when your information changes at that credit reporting agency. This is good news! It means that over time you can improve a poor score by improving how you handle credit.
- Many insurance companies use something similar when setting your insurance rate, called a credit-based insurance score. You may be able to improve your insurance score by improving how you handle credit which in turn may lower your premium payments on auto or homeowners insurance.
- Some credit scores offered to consumers are just estimates and are different from the credit risk scores lenders use. Consumer reporting agencies and other companies sometimes use an estimated score to illustrate a consumer’s general level of credit risk. How can you tell whether a score is estimated? Ask the company if the score is used by most lenders. If it is not, it is likely to be an estimated score.
Learn your scores
It is easy to get your free annual credit score to check your financial health. The three rating agencies are required to provide it to you, free of charge, once annually. More frequent then that you will need to pay for it.
Places where you can get your credit score
ANNUAL CREDIT REPORT SERVICE
Phone: 1 877 322 8228
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P. O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Phone: 1 800 342 6726
Phone: 1 800 685 1111
Phone: 1 866 200 6020
Phone: 1 800 888 4213