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
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
MANAGE YOUR CREDIT HEALTH
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.
ORDERING YOUR SCORE AND MORE
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
BEFORE YOU BUY YOUR SCORE
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