Fair Isaac Credit Reports Available to Consumers

Fair Isaac, the company that can either be your friend or your foe when you apply for a loan, has finally decided to make its secret credit analysis scores available to the general public. Previously, these top secret scores were only available to lenders.

The scores are based on information that is available in standard credit reports. The point of the scoring system is to give lenders a picture of how likely a particular consumer is to repay a loan and to make the payments on time.

There are five criteria used in determining the Fair Isaac (FICO) score. The percentage shows how much each item weighs in the total score:

  1. Payment history (35%): Payments to credit cards, retail stores, installment loans, and mortgages are included in this analysis. Public records of bankruptcies, liens, foreclosures, lawsuits, and wage garnishments will also be considered. A history of late payments will count heavily against you. Late payments on one or two accounts can be overcome by high ratings in other areas.
  2. Amounts Owed (30%): The amount you owe on all types of accounts will be combined.. Having lots of credit accounts, even if only small amounts are owed, is seen as a negative. Credit cards balances hovering close to the maximum will count against you. Installment loans that have been paid down will count in your favor.
  3. Length of Credit History (15%): A lengthy credit history is beneficial because you are able to be judged over a period of time.
  4. New Credit (10%): The number of requests for credit you have made recently will be analyzed.
  5. Types of Credit (10%): A healthy mix of credit cards, installment loans, retail accounts, and mortgage loans will work to your benefit, particularly if there is not much information available in the other factors.

A sample FICO report is available for you to view, and you can order your own FICO report at Fair Isaac's MyFICO Web site. The cost of the report is $12.95.

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