What Is My FICO Score and Why Does it Matter?
Are you confused about what your FICO score is and why you need to know it? I use to be too until I learned this facts.
Your FICO score can be taking money way from you right now and you might not even realize it, but you can change your situation by learning these key points.
How is my money being taken away?
- By higher interest on your credit cards.
- With higher interest on your car loans.
- Through higher interest for your home mortgage.
Updated Jan 2018
Everyone who has credit cards, a car loan, store credit cards or borrowed money has a profile on them. This is collected by three large bureaus. It becomes your FICO score.
This is what they look at and how much weight is given to each category, just so you have an idea of what you might want to work on first to bring your score up.
Your Score Components
- Amounts Owed. 30%
- Payment History 35%
- Credit Mix 10%
- Length of History 15%
- New Credit 10%
Your FICO score can range from 300-850. The higher the number the better you look to companies you want to do business with. The national average is 695. If your score is 740-799 you are above average and have a proven track record with handling your money well. 800+ is an exceptional rating and is well above the average.
I worked very hard to bring my score up to 804. Now, how did I do that you are probably asking. Well, let me tell you!
Looking at the way my FICO is figured 35% comes from my payment history. So I made it my goal to never be late on anything! I paid my car loan on time, our cellphone bill, our school loans and everything that I had to pay. It was paid ON TIME. Each payment is reported and I only wanted good reports to be found on my credit reports.
My amounts owed were the next biggest thing. This is where using our credit card wisely helped. We did have one because you can’t rent a car without one and purchasing online is much safer with a credit card. But they wanted to give me a $5000 limit at the time. Which was way more than I would ever use and so I lowered it. By having $17,000 is college loans at the time and $5000 limit on my credit card they looked at me as being able to be in $22000 of debt. I didn’t have that much debt but to them I could get into that much debt in one day. So I called them up and told them to lower that amount which also reflected on my FICO score.
Now my credit mix I didn’t worry about because I couldn’t change much of that.
As for my Credit Length, I closed out a bunch of cards that where store cards. You know the ones that you open to get 30% off your purchase that day if you open to make a large purchase. This lowered my perceived amounts owed. I didn’t have anything on them but I did own them. But I did keep my first credit card that I had opened when I was 18. This gave the longest running record of me paying off and handling a credit card responsibly. At the time it didn’t give any rewards or perks but that didn’t matter to me, the Credit Length was much more valuable to me. This also brought my FICO score up.
It was so rewarding the day I looked at my score and it was 804! It didn’t happen over night, this took about a year to work on for us but it was well worth it! When we went to purchase our home the bank was impressed with our score and our interest rate was REALLY low! That hard work is paying off now! It has saved us thousands of dollars in interest over the lifetime of our loan!
Do you know your FICO score?
I recommend that you find out so that you can begin putting money back into your pocket with lower interest rates. You can get your free score by contacting each of the three collecting bureaus. You will have to verify who you are so they can match the information they have with what is on file first so that your privacy is being respected and guarded.
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
P.O. Box 9530
Allen, TX 75013
Take your next step to financial awareness! You will be so glad that you did. Knowing your FICO score is a big step to taking control of your money instead of letting it control you.
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