FICO is the new name for what used to be called the Fair Isaac Corporation. It is a publicly traded company that provides decision-making services and analytics. Its best-known product is its FICO score, a formula that is used by the three credit reporting bureaus to create your credit scores.
What is a FICO score?
A FICO credit score is made up of five components. They are 35% payment history, 30% credit utilization, 15% length of credit history, 10% types of credit used and 10% recent searches for credit or hard credit inquiries. It also takes into consideration information on your record regarding court judgments, tax liens, bankruptcies and the like.
FICO takes all this “analog” information and plugs it into a complicated algorithm, which ultimately results in a three-digit FICO score that goes from 300 to 850.
Only one place to get your real FICO score
You might find websites advertising free credit scores. However, none of these will be your true FICO score. The only place you can get your true FICO score is on www.myfico.com.
It won’t be exactly free
The site offers two options. First, you can pay $19.95, which will get you one FICO score from Equifax® or TransUnion®, one credit report from Equifax or TransUnion and an explanation of the factors that affected your score.
Be careful of the big, red button
A second option is to press the big red button labeled Get my FICO score free. If you choose this option, you will go to a page where you can get a free trial of its Score Watch® product, which will get you two FICO credit scores, 2 Equifax Credit Reports, FICO® Score monitoring and alerts. But be aware that if you take advantage of this “free” offer, you’re signing up for Score Watch. If you fail to cancel this service during the ten-day free trial, you will automatically be signed up for three months at a cost of $14.95 per month. And this is a minimum subscription, meaning that if you fail to cancel the service within the free 10-day trial offer, you will be in the soup for a total of $44.85.
Why get your FICO score?
All three of the credit reporting bureaus, Experian®, TransUnion and Equifax, base their credit scores on your FICO score. However, each has its own proprietary formula for calculating your credit score so you might see slightly different scores from all three.
Since Myfico.com is the only site where you can get your true FICO credit score, it’s a site you should visit periodically. Knowing your credit score is almost as important as knowing your heart rate or blood pressure. A good credit score means you will be able to get more credit, while a bad credit score could doom you to not getting any credit at all.
If you have a bad FICO score
A bad FICO score of 500 or less can make it virtually impossible for you to get new credit, an auto loan or even rent an apartment – not to mention a debt consolidation loan. If you have a low FICO score it’s probably because you’re heavily and haven’t been able to meet your payments. We can’t help you improve your FICO score overnight but we’ve helped thousands of people through debt relief. It doesn’t matter if you’re having a problem making the minimum payments on your credit cards. With our help, you should be able to reduce that increasing debt load and start to see some light at the end of the tunnel.