Credit is essential for borrowing money. Your credit worthiness is rated by the three credit reporting agencies and FICO. The scores represent the likelihood that a person will repay their loans, and it's determined by a person's borrowing history and other variables. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about credit, credit reports and credit scores. If you have additional questions, don't hesitate to contact our Finance Department.
I have bad credit - what should I do?
If you have less than perfect credit, don't fret; you're not alone. Millions suffer from bad credit because of a variety of reasons. To improve your credit, start by getting reports from all three reporting agencies. This will shed light on what exactly is impairing your credit. Credit reports may contain inaccuracies that you can correct to help get your credit back on track. Paying down high balances and paying on time will go a long way to improving your credit.
What is a credit score?
A credit score represents your creditworthiness and it's used by lenders to gauge whether a person will make payments on time. Scores are largely based on your borrowing history. The most common type of credit score available to consumers is the FICO score, which ranges from 300-850. The higher the credit score, the more likely you'll be able obtain credit and/or secure a lower interest rate.
What is a good credit score?
Credit scores range between 300 and 850. Typically, a good credit score is above 700.
What is a bad credit score?
The average credit score is 680. Anything below 620 is considered a poor score, or "sub-prime."
How do I maintain a good credit score?
For those who already have a good credit score, rest assured that it's much easier to maintain a good score than to improve a poor one. Good credit can be maintained by adhering to healthy financial habits, such as making payments on time and shopping on credit only when it's absolutely necessary. Avoid making dramatic credit changes and don't close old accounts.