Do You Know About Your Credit Score? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Do You Know About Your Credit Score?

Shopping for a new credit card? New car? New house? You need to know about something you've probably never even heard of... your FICO or credit score.

It's the sole piece of information 75% of all financial institutions use to decide your financial future. Getting it and understanding it are critical for any consumer.

"When I first got my credit report, it was like reading a totally different language." said consumer Denise Wade. "I thought I had gotten something in Greek and I was frustrated by that." Plus, Denise still didn't have her all-important credit or FICO score. It is computed by a company called Fair, Isaac and Company.

Up until recently, a lot of consumers had no idea what the FICO score is, and it was difficult to get. Credit bureaus kept scores secret. But a California law now requires the bureaus to disclose them by July. Companies have decided it's more lucrative to sell them nationwide.

Equifax is leading the movement by offering the score and personalized analysis of what it means for $12.95. You can get the information and prepare yourself ahead of time. You'll know what your chances are of getting a loan.

How do you improve your credit score? You need to understand the top four reason codes that explain why it isn't higher.

REASON CODE 10

The proportion of your balances to your credit limits is too high.

  • Pay down your balances.
  • Don't shift or consolidate balances.
  • Don't open new accounts. You may get a lower introductory APR, but your FICO score will most likely go down.

REASON CODE 14

This factor measures the length of time your accounts have been established.

  • Try to build a long credit history with the same companies.

REASON CODE 5

You have too many accounts with balances.

REASON CODE 8

Too many inquiries have been made on your report in the past year.

  • Inquiries are posted every time you apply for credit.
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