FICO, developed by Fair Isaac & Co in 1956, is the benchmark U.S. credit score and is used in more than 90% of lending decisions.
In 2013, lenders purchased more than 10 billion FICO Scores, and nearly 30 million U.S. consumers accessed their own scores.
However, in recent years there has been a rise in educational credit scores, also known as FAKO scores, created by companies other than Fair Isaac & Co. The term FAKO is a combination of “FAKE” with “FICO”. Despite the term, educational credit scores prove useful for individuals seeking to gauge their overall credit worthiness.
These educational credit scores are usually free and based on information found in a person’s credit report. If you choose to find out what your FAKO score is, aim to use a company that’s associated with at least one of three major credit bureaus such as Quizzle, Credit Karma and Credit Sesame.
FICO credit scores range from 300 to 850 and the average credit score in the U.S. is 689. If your score is at or above 700, it means you’re considered a person with good credit history and in good financial standing. But if your score is at or below 600, it has the opposite implication.
According to the FDIC, credit scores take into account the following conditions that can both negatively or positively affect your score:
►Amount of time credit has been established
►Length of time at your present residence
►Type of employment
►Length of time in current employment
Here are a few tips on increasing your credit score:
1.) Pay your bills on time
2.) Do not apply for credit frequently
3.) Reduce your credit card balances
4.) Have some credit (having no or limited credit history will result in a lower score)
To obtain all three credit reports for free, simply go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com, or call 877-322-8228.
Plus, to learn more about the three credit reporting agencies, call or visit their websites using the following contact information: