For those interested in going beyond credit-score averages, the following breakdown of where different groups of people fall on the standard 300-to-850 credit-score scale will give you a better understanding of just how much consumers’ financial experiences can vary. These statistics also show a clear divide between people with bad credit and the rest of us, which underscores the importance of using credit responsibly.
He adds: “As I grew older, I became more aware of how good credit opened opportunities for advancing and enhancing my life. So I continued to work on getting an ever-better score. After a while, it not only became a goal but … a total obsession.”
Pavelka isn’t sure what the other part of the letter means, that his score is “higher than 100 percent of U.S. consumers.” Fair Isaac spokesman Anthony Sprauve said it does not mean he has the absolute highest score in the nation. There are other 848s, and even 849s and 850s out there. But his score is higher than perhaps 99.7 percent of consumers and the disclosure letter simply rounded up.
Whole thing seems to be a scam to me. I have credit cards, two mortgage payments, car payments – never missed – never late and my credit score drops because I shop for better rates. My thought … someone does not want to do business with me – fine by me but so far when the question comes up – I demand the interest rate of the day and somehow they always come through when I threaten to walk. Home loan #1 3.2, Home loan #2 4.2 – will redo it when the value of the property increases, car loan #1 1.9, car loan #2 1.9. Yes I have a card that is loaded to capacity because I transferred others to it because it’s 0% interest. So my thought is – let the reporting agencies play their games – I’ll keep playing mine
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15%: length of credit history aka Time in File: As a credit history ages it can have a positive impact on its FICO score. There are two metrics in this category: the average age of the accounts on a report and the age of the oldest account.
The FICO scoring model will treat each late payment the same and will carry the same weight. However, the VantageScore model will look at each late payment differently which means they may have an even more significant impact on your credit.
If you’re paying them off before they report, it is harming you more than helping. Be cautious of paying back too often or too quickly. And don’t forget that your debt to income ratio is a high factor when being considered for loans, mortgages, financing, etc. If it doesn’t look like you’re pulling more money into an account than you’re spending on your bills each month your dti ratio might keep you from utilizing that good credit score,
A secured loan (which is what you are referring to), paid on time, should help. You might also consider getting a secured credit card, using it lightly (keeping the balance under 30% of the credit limit) and paying it on time. Here’s more about secured cards: How Secured Cards Help Build Credit
But even these aren’t set in stone. Again, that’s because lenders all have their own definitions of what is a good credit score. One lender that is looking to approve more borrowers might approve applicants with credit scores of 680 or higher. Another might be more selective and only approve those with scores of 750 or higher. Or both lenders might offer credit to anyone with a score of at least 650, but charge consumers with scores below 700 a higher interest rate!
Remember that even though your credit reports are free every twelve months, your credit score is not included. It’s a separate calculation that is requested when your credit is pulled by third parties such as lenders and creditors. There are several monitoring services if you’d like to check out your score on a regular basis, or you can pay a one-time fee to FICO to access your score.
Oh, one more question… When I do get to that point, I should note that I filed for bankruptcy back in 2004 but it is no longer on my credit report. When I get asked that question, what is the appropriate response? Again, my credit is stellar now.
With all of the scores listed above, the higher the number, then the lower the risk. With that being said, consumers with higher scores are more likely to get approved for credit than those with lower scores. Additionally, they also tend to get the best interest rates when they do. And they are more likely to get discounts on insurance. What is considered a “high” score depends on what type of score is being used.
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Court Judgments: A civil court judgment will be removed from your credit report after seven years from the filing date. When you pay the judgment amount, your credit report will be updated to reflect the status, but the notation of the judgment will remain for the full seven years.
The three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – also have created the VantageScore, which ranges from 501 to 990, and the VantageScore 3.0, which ranges from 300 to 850 (to mimic the FICO range). The VantageScore is growing in popularity among lenders but still isn’t as widely used as the FICO score. No matter the name, scores can vary by credit bureau depending on when the score was calculated and what specific method was used to make the calculation. Each credit bureau has its own formula.
The accumulation of wealth and experience over time is the most likely explanation for this. As people age, they also tend to grow more financially responsible and secure, qualities that lend themselves to credit improvement. And the more time you have, the more opportunity there is to recover from mistakes. Another reason is the way credit scores are calculated. The length of your credit history accounts for a significant portion of your score (around 15%), for one thing.
Most people who have scores of 600 or lower, though, have a history of making late payments or failing to pay at all, according to Jeff Richardson, spokesman for VantageScore, one of the two main credit scoring agencies. “Most often those with very low scores have had a number of delinquencies, which leads to a default, combined with a high utilization” of their available credit, he says.
Most credit scores – including the FICO score and VantageScore 3.0 – operate within the range of 300 to 850, and a score of 700 or above is generally considered to be good. Within that range, there are different categories, from bad to excellent. They generally look like this:
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Because the FICO credit score can only be determined by information found in the individual’s credit file, it is essential to look over your credit reports each year to find any inaccuracies or discrepancies to ensure that everything is accurate and up to date. Click here to learn more about how you can obtain your free credit reports. As a consumer, you are entitled to one free credit file disclosure from the three bureaus every twelve months.
Lenders and other financial institutions can use a number of credit scoring systems in existence, but all models have one thing in common: they apply a mathematical algorithm to information on your credit report to generate a credit score.
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To inspire you to achieve the highest score, that goal is 850. The last time I read an article from the WSJ (maybe two years ago); only 3 million U.S. adults have the perfect score. It’s one thing to reach for it, but it’s another to keep it, perpetually. It demands lots of financial discipline.