Starting Friday, Experian will no longer allow consumers to view their own FICO score that is based upon Experian data. Lenders will still be able to get access to this number. So basically a lender has access to information about you and may make a decision based upon that information; but you do not have access to that same information. There is a good article on this at SmartMoney.com.
Equifax and TransUnion will continue to allow consumers access to FICO scores based upon their data. You can still get your Experian based FICO score today if needed in our Credit Reports section.
For today’s borrowers, having good credit is essential. Having a poor credit history can make it difficult to get loans with good rates, or any loan at all. People with good and excellent credit are in the best position now to take advantage of the current low rates and reduce their monthly payments. This is a brief overview of credit scores and what they mean to you.
The most widely used credit scores are “FICO Scores,” which are named after the company that runs the predominant scoring system, the Fair Isaac Corporation. They have a site for consumers called myFICO.com which offers a Free FICO Score Estimator. They also offer a number of paid products including Score Watch® and FICO® Quarterly Monitoring. Other credit reporting and scoring services can be found in our MoneyCafe.com Credit Reports Section.
FICO scores range from 300 to 850. Higher scores are better, with the average score being around 720. They keep it a secret exactly how they come up with your score, but say they take into account your payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit and the types of credit used. For more detailed information there are two excellent brochures at http://www.myfico.com/Downloads/Files/myFICO_UYFS_Booklet.pdf and http://www.myfico.com/Downloads/Files/myFICO_YCS_Booklet.pdf.
It’s a good idea to know your credit score before you shop for a loan or other credit. You would be surprised by the difference a good score can make. On home loans it can translate into savings of a couple of hundred dollars per month or thousands of dollars in additional loan origination fees. And many people only miss an excellent credit score by a few points. Check with several lenders to see what scores they use for cutoffs. Many provide their best rates to borrowers with scores above […]