Frequently Asked Questions about the FICO® Score



About FICO® Scores

What is a credit score?

What are FICO® Scores

What is a good FICO® Score?

What is the lowest and highest possible FICO® Score?

Are FICO® Scores the only risk scores?

Why are my scores at each of the three CRAs different?

Why is this FICO® Score different than other scores I’ve seen?

Why do FICO® Scores fluctuate/change?

What are the minimum requirements to produce a FICO® Score?

What are key score factors?

My lender recently changed the version of FICO® Score they use. Why do lenders change?

Who or what is FICO?

Access to Credit

Does a FICO® Score alone determine whether I get credit?

How is a credit history established?

How can I better understand my financial health?

How long will negative information remain on my credit files?

Do FICO® Scores change that much over time?

What if I’m turned down for credit?

How do I get my free credit report?

Can I transfer my credit files from another country to the US consumer reporting

Why did my lender lower my credit limit?

Do I need to keep my utilization ratio below 30% to have no impact on my score? There is no single utilization percentage that equates to optimal points. Generally speaking, lower utilization means less credit risk and positive impact to FICO® Scores.

Credit Card Impacts to FICO® Scores

Should I take advantage of promotional credit card offers?

Will closing a credit card account impact a FICO® Score?

What’s the best way to manage my growing credit card debt?

Mortgage Impacts to FICO® Scores

Are the alternatives to fore-closure any better as far as FICO® Scores are concerned?

How does a mortgage modification affect the borrower’s FICO® Score?

Will contacting my mortgage servicer affect a FICO® Score?

How does refinancing affect a FICO® Score?

How do loan modifications affect a FICO® Score?

How long will a foreclosure affect a FICO® Score?

Student Loan Impacts to FICO® Scores

How do FICO® Scores consider student loan shopping?

What’s the best advice for people shopping for student loans to minimize the impact to their FICO® Scores?

Bankruptcy and Public Record Impacts to FICO® Scores

What are the different categories of late payments and do they affect FICO® Scores?

How do FICO® Scores consider a bankruptcy, and how can I minimize any negative effects?

What are the different types of bankruptcy and how is each considered by a FICO® Score?

How do public records and judgments affect a FICO® Score?

General Impacts to FICO® Scores

What are inquiries and how do they affect FICO® Scores?

Does applying for many new credit accounts hurt FICO® Scores more than applying for just a single new account?

Is there a best way to go about applying for new credit to minimize the effect to a FICO® Score?

Do employers use FICO® Scores in hiring decisions?

Are FICO® Scores used in insurance underwriting?

Are FICO® Scores unfair to minorities?

How are FICO® Scores calculated for married couples?

Will spending less and saving more impact a FICO® Score?

If lenders have different lending requirements, how can I know if I qualify for affordable financing?

Can accounts that aren’t in my credit reports affect a FICO® Score?

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