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Frequently Asked Questions

Checking Your Score

Since lenders check your score, it makes sense to see how lenders see you. It’s easy to check your own FICO score, and to find out specific things you can do to raise it.

You can order your FICO score through online services developed by Fair Isaac, in partnership with credit
reporting agencies. Our score delivery services give you all the information you need to understand your score, the information it’s based on, and ways to improve your credit health.

An important time to check your score is six months or so before a major purchase, such as a car or home loan. This gives you time to make sure your credit report information is right, correct it if it’s not, and improve your score if necessary. In general, any time you are applying for credit, taking out a new loan or changing your credit mix is a good time to check your FICO score.

Improving your FICO score can help you:

  • Get better credit offers
  • Lower your interest rates
  • Speed up credit approvals

The payoff from a better FICO score can be big. For example, with a 30-year fixed mortgage of $150,000,
you could save approximately $131,000 over the life of the loan—or $365 on each monthly payment—by first improving your FICO score from a 550 to a 720.


FICO score delivery services are available through many banks, financial services sites, credit reporting agencies and Fair Isaac’s myFICO site (www.myfico.com). These services include:

  • Your current FICO score—the credit score lenders use to measure your credit risk.
  • Your credit report, on which your FICO score is based.
  • A full explanation of your score, the positive and negative factors behind it, and how lenders view your credit risk.
  • A FICO score simulator you can use to see how specific actions, such as paying off all your card balances, would affect your score.
  • Specific tips on what you can do to improve your FICO score over time. The myFICO site also features in-depth information on FICO scores, including a full list of the score factors and sound advice for managing your credit health. In addition, you can see current information on the average interest
    rates for home and auto loans for different FICO score ranges.

Make sure you’re buying your FICO score. Some businesses will sell or give you credit scores that are not FICO scores and may not be used by any lenders at all. These services may also give you credit management advice that does not apply to FICO scores and could actually hurt your credit
standing with lenders.

The advice in this booklet and on www.myfico.com applies to FICO scores only, not to all scores.
FICO scores are the scores most lenders use. Your FICO score is the score to know.
Check your score and learn more about scoring at www.myfico.com


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