Monday, February 1, 2010

My FICO or Yours?

What the FICO score measures and how the information is weighted:

1. Payment history 35%
2. Outstanding balances 30%
3. Length of credit history 15%
4. New credit 10%
5. Types of credit 10%

There it is, the formula that rules our lives these days. You do not need to pay for your FICO score, ever. All you need do is honestly survey your performance, based on each of these measures:

1. Pay bills on time?
2. Keep the amount of credit being used low?
3. Longtime cardholder or newbie?
4. Recent attempts to get new credit?
5. A mix of types of accounts?

Very obviously, paying your bills on time is the key. Its weight is over one-third of the total score. That means a single late payment is over three times more significant than your mix of credit lines, or the fact that you went car shopping and five dealerships pulled your credit score, or your status as someone new to credit or someone with decades-old accounts.

Pay bills on time. No need to pay FICO to learn this.

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