Quiz: How well do you know FICO Scores?

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Happy credit education month! Think you know everything about FICO Scores? Now is your chance to test your FICO Score knowledge. Take this quick, fun quiz to see how well you know FICO Scores. Questions range from easy to a little more challenging, and most questions provide a detailed explanation of the answer. Quiz yourself, learn and share with your friends!     … [Read more...]

How Student Loans Affect Your FICO® Scores

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Here are some sobering statistics for anyone who recently graduated from college:   1. 70% of students graduating with a bachelor’s degree are leaving school with student-loan debt   2. The average class of 2014 graduate with student-loan debt owed $33,000—earning them the distinction of the most indebted class ever   3. 2014 graduates faced an 8.5% unemployment rate and 16.8 underemployment rate   Recent college grads are leaving school with more debt than ever and entering a job market with fewer opportunities for them to use their degrees and, in turn, pay back their loans.   It’s easy to forgive a young grad buried to the neck in student-loan debt for overlooking the impact of his loan repayment on his FICO Scores. The fact … [Read more...]

New FICO credit education video series: Understanding your credit

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We’re excited to introduce a new education video series from FICO—Understanding Your Credit. We created these three initial short videos to help you understand FICO® Score basics. Watch them and learn what a FICO Score is, how it’s calculated from your credit reports, how lenders use them to evaluate your credit risk, and plenty more!   What is a FICO Score?   Every day, thousands of U.S. lenders use FICO Scores to make more well-informed credit-granting decisions. But what does that mean for you? And why is it important to understand how lenders use them?   This video takes a look at what a FICO Score is and why it matters to consumers and lenders alike. Watch to learn how FICO Scores streamline the lending process, making it faster and fairer for … [Read more...]

5 Smart Credit Card Moves that Could Help Your Scores

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We all know the consequences of using credit cards irresponsibly: crushing debt, late and missed payment fees, poor FICO® Scores, bad breath (okay, maybe not one of those).   Of course, using credit cards wisely comes with a number of benefits. In addition to being a secure and convenient way to make payments, credit cards can help you establish and build credit, give you access to valuable rewards, and can even help improve your scores. To help you play the credit card game wisely, here are 5 smart moves to make.   1. Ask for a credit limit increase   Your issuer might occasionally surprise you with an unprompted credit limit increase, but it never hurts to take matters into your own hands if you've been pining for a higher credit line. A limit increase … [Read more...]

5 Big Credit Mistakes You Should Avoid at All Costs

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When it comes to credit, some people prefer the ignorant bliss method: Don’t look at your credit, don’t worry about your credit, don’t even think about your credit. This method can actually be quite effective for several months or even years – that is until you’re thinking about buying a new home, leasing a new car, financing a new computer, or whatever else you've been dreaming up.   When you’re actually looking for credit, it will quickly become clear that the ignorant bliss method was a mistake. Those financial decisions you carelessly made might actually hurt your FICO® Scores or credit history.   You don’t have to be the type of person that worries about credit constantly (although a periodic review of your FICO® Scores and credit reports is always a good idea). … [Read more...]

President Obama says credit scores are an “early warning system” for fraud. Is he right?

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On Jan 12th, in his lead-up to the 2015 State of the Union Address, President Obama gave a speech at the Federal Trade Commission outlining proposed legislation that would help “better protect American consumers from identity theft and ensure our privacy.”   In addition to previewing a new data breach notification law, which would require businesses to notify consumers of a breach within 30 days, the President lauded the recent efforts of several lenders who are offering free FICO® Scores to their customers.   He specifically thanked JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, USAA, the State Employees’ Credit Union, and Ally Financial  for “stepping up and equipping Americans with another weapon against identity theft, and that’s access to their credit scores, free of … [Read more...]

4 credit score factors investors
should watch out for

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If you’re an investor, you know the value of making every dollar work for you. That’s why your FICO® Scores are so important. Since 90% of top lenders use FICO Scores to help make lending decisions, a high score will improve your chances of qualifying for the best rates and offers—which ultimately means more money in your pocket from investments.   On a $216,000, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the difference between a 620 FICO Score and a 760 FICO Score could be the difference between a $1,139 and $941 monthly payment. FICO Scores make a difference when it comes to investing.   With that in mind, here are four FICO Score factors any prudent investor should be aware of.   1. Do your rate shopping within a short time period Applying for mortgages, loans, and … [Read more...]

These 4 Credit Scoring Myths Could Be Hurting Your Scores

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Some myths are innocuous. Thinking that the Great Wall of China is visible from space (it’s not) or that sharks don’t get cancer (they do) won’t have much of an impact on your life.   The same can’t be said, however, for some of the common misconceptions about credit scoring.  If you believe any of these 4 credit scoring myths, you could be doing damage to credit score without even knowing it.   1. “My poor score will haunt me forever” Believing this myth has the effect of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think that trying to rebuild your credit is futile, there’s little chance you’ll take the necessary steps to start down the path toward a higher score.   The truth is, even something as devastating to your score as a foreclosure can be rebounded from … [Read more...]

Should I Transfer My Credit Card Balance to Another Credit Card?

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If you’ve been stuck on the credit card debt treadmill for a while, struggling to make anything more than the minimum monthly payments, you’re probably looking for a way out.   Maybe at some point this brilliant idea occurred to you (maybe it was in the middle of the night and it came to you in a dream and you shot straight up like they do on TV and said it aloud): “I know what I’ll do! I’ll pay off my credit card with another credit card.”   Yes, you can use one credit card to pay off your balance on another—though it isn’t all that simple and comes with a few caveats.   First thing: You can’t actually pay off credit debt with credit. Unfortunately, none of the major credit card issuers allow credit card debt payment by credit card.   And … [Read more...]

How Identity Theft
Can Impact Your Credit Scores

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When people think about identity theft, they often focus on credit card fraud—someone racks up fraudulent transactions on your debit or credit card. This type of identity theft can be extremely frustrating, but luckily, credit card companies and banks have security measures and processes in place to keep your cards protected. It’s the other types of identity theft you have to worry about.   Other types of identity theft show symptoms slowly. You might not know about the theft for weeks, months or even years after it occurs. Most victims, a whopping 72%, don’t even know where or when the theft occurred (http://www.identitytheftassistance.org/pageview.php?cateid=47).   And then one dismal day, you’ll discover that an identity thief has opened up loans, taken on a … [Read more...]

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