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What is a Credit Score and Why is it Important?

Age may just be a number, but a credit score can make or break your financial future.

What exactly is a credit score? The easy answer is that itís a number assigned to an individual consumer based on their credit history. Failure to pay back debt in a timely fashion or, worse yet, defaulting on a loan or payment entirely is likely to result in a very low credit score. A stellar credit report, which includes a consistent history of on-time bill payment and loan repayment, will result in a high credit score.

The more complex answer to the question of what is a credit score is that it is a three-digit number assigned through a mathematical algorithm using information pulled from a consumerís credit report. The numbers range from a low of 300 to a high of 850. The number is supposed to predict the risk associated with doing business with that particular individual. A credit score higher than 700 is a good indicator that the consumer has an excellent credit history and is in the low-risk category for defaulting on a loan or payment.

Creditors with scores in the 500 and 600 ranges are considered medium risk and may have a history of failure to pay or consistently paying late. Scores below 500 indicate a high-risk consumer. These are the folks who may find they are having trouble obtaining loans, utility services or even employment due to their credit scores. They have consistent histories of failure to pay or of paying late, making them undesirable with which to do business.

Every credit score consists of five criteria: payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit and types of credit used. Payment history counts for 35 percent of the total score, and includes things like account payment information. The balance owed to creditors consists of 30 percent of your score, and is a reflection of how much is owed on every open account a consumer holds. The length of the credit history is 15 percent of the total score. This covers how long ago accounts were opened and how often they register activity by the consumer. The types of accounts the consumer holds counts for 10 percent of the total score and new credit consists of the remaining 10 percent.

A consumerís age, sex, race, address, marital status, income level or employment status have no effect on the credit score. However, there is one credit-score model that dominates the industry Ė FICO. Over 90 percent of all U.S. financial institutions use FICO scores when determining credit worthiness.

Consumers who wish to review their credit score can do so by requesting it from any of the three credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) or from www.myfico.com. While federal law requires that all consumers receive one free credit report annually, that provision does not cover the receipt of a credit score. Credit scores cost $20 and up, depending on the agency used to obtain them.

Is a credit repair company friend or foe

Americans across the U.S. struggle with bad credit. When searching for a solution, credit repair companies seem like a great idea. For a fee, these companies offer advice or assistance to improve your credit score. However, there is really nothing a credit ...

Published:  Wed, 10 Jan 2018 10:37:00 GMT



10 Simple Ways to Repair Your Credit

Ending up with bad credit can happen to anyone. Even if you're careful, certain mistakes can be made that can send your numbers spiraling. Don't give up hope if that happens, though. Fortunately, there are many different ways you can start working on ...

Published:  Fri, 12 Jan 2018 08:57:00 GMT



Florida considers ending fee to freeze credit as Equifax leads gripes

In any case, credit reporting and repair companies represented the top category of CFPB complaints from Florida, according to lendedu.com, which calls itself a marketplace for finance products including student loans, personal loans and credit cards.

Published:  Sun, 21 Jan 2018 21:09:00 GMT



Planning to borrow for your kid's college Time to clean up your credit

No matter what college path, polishing your credit score will give you flexibility as you move deeper into college bills and second or third children. Steps to repair credit. For a good credit score and access to low interest rates, paying bills on time is ...

Published:  Sat, 13 Jan 2018 22:04:00 GMT



Don't Put American Express Stock on Your Credit Card

The firm made sure that you know that the quarterly dividend will not be touched, but it has to repair itself after this hit. One big buyer removed from price discovery in the secondary market. Get it Am I afraid of American Express No. That said ...

Published:  Fri, 19 Jan 2018 09:33:00 GMT



Roof repair permits not a bad idea

It is important to note that, to the credit of the City, this does not seem to be a top ... Nationwide, though, many jurisdictions require roofing repair permits, Flanagan said. Minot requires permits for new construction or roof replacement only, not ...

Published:  Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:10:00 GMT



Can Credit Repair Companies Really Improve My Credit Report

The answer is maybe -- but they can't do anything that you couldn't do yourself, for free. Anything on your report that's bringing down your credit score is going to stay on, if it's accurate information. So if a credit repair company promises to remove ...

Published:  Thu, 14 Feb 2013 16:00:00 GMT



The Rules of Credit Repair

There are no shortcuts to building great credit: Everyone starts with nothing, and if your credit score tumbles at some point, it takes time, patience and planning to recover. That doesn't mean you have to figure it out by yourself, though you certainly can.

Published:  Wed, 02 Apr 2014 02:22:44 GMT



$2-million settlement ends accusations that L.A. credit-repair firms misled consumers

Credit-repair services promise to help consumers fix their credit scores, but there's only so much they can do. They can help clear up inaccurate or outdated information on a consumer's credit report, but they can't erase legitimate dings. But the ...

Published:  Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:36:27 GMT



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