Thursday, August 28, 2008

What is FICO

The various credit bureaus can use different methods at arriving at your score and this is why you can sometimes have more luck getting credit from one lending institution than another.

The industry standard is a system called FICO.
FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation Company.
FICO is software for calculating credit score and is regarded as the leader in the calculation of credit score within the finance industry.

The fact that it is commonly accepted as the most suitable way to rate a person's credit score is why many people will talk of FICO scores or FICO ratings rather than calling them credit scores.
The software that is used to calculate credit score, whether it is FICO or other software uses research and mathematics to decide upon the rating.

This information is important to you as it will help you to have a better understanding of what you can do to give your credit score a boost in its rating.

The best way to explain how credit score is calculated is to compare it to insurance premiums where you will pay a higher premium based on various factors in your life.
With insurance those factors will be your age, your occupation, your health and even your choice of sport where dangerous activities will make you a higher risk for the insurance company.

The insurance company can then look at their research data and calculate your risk.
Obviously older people and those participating in dangerous activities will be a higher risk and those people will be expected to pay higher premiums.

Credit bureaus have similar research data that relates to peoples ability to repay debt in certain circumstances, and it is this data that they will use when they input your information to decide whether they will lend you money and if so at what interest rates.

Understanding Your Credit Score

To have the best chance of improving your credit score you will need to have a good understanding of how it is calculated as that will help you to decide on the actions you need to take.

Credit score is a numerical calculation based on a number of factors that helps lenders decide whether you are a risk to lend money to.

The numbers generally range from 300 to 850 and allow lenders to see how well you are at paying off your debts.

The higher this number is the more likely you are to get credit and you will also usually get it at lower interest rates because of the fact that you will be regarded as a lower risk for repayment.

If your score falls below 600 you will probably have trouble getting credit and if you do you will be expected to pay higher rates due to the risk involved.

Scores over 720 are regarded as excellent and you can expect to get good rates.

This is just a guideline as some lenders place more importance on credit scores than others and while you might have difficulty getting credit with one lending institution that is not to say you will have difficulty with all of them.

Often you can discuss your situation with the lender even when you have a low score and still get them to finance you at reasonable rates.
Sometimes they will look at your whole credit history and take that into account rather than just the current poor score.

Your credit score comes from the calculations that are determined by the credit bureaus and are based on mathematical data that is arrived at from your credit report information that is supplied to the bureaus from people who have lent you money and from people you owe payment of bills to.