Understanding How to Get Your FICO Credit Scores

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What is a FICO Score?

The FICO Score is a weighted numerical value that allows lenders to make a fairly quick determination about your credit worthiness. FICO, which is the acronym for the Fair Isaac Corporation created by Bill Fair and Earl Isaac, even has a website called MyFico.com for help in how to get your FICO Score and offers assistance for improving credit and maintaining good credit. Each of the major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) calculate their own FICO Score which is weighted based upon the following criteria:

  1. Payment history – 35%
  2. Amounts owed – 30%
  3. Length of credit history – 15%
  4. New credit – 10%
  5. Types of credit used – 10%

While most companies report to all three agencies, your credit score for all three may differ. As a result, you may wonder how to get your FICO Score that is the same across all three credit reporting agencies. This may be due to the time each agency receives credit updates for you and how frequently they record these updates. Regardless of these slight differences in scores, the scores are still calculated the same using the same criteria and weights across the board.

Only Two FICO Scores are Available to Consumers Now

Prior to February 13, 2009, when people requested their credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, they received their FICO Score as well. However, Experian made the decision in 2009 to stop providing FICO Scores to the consumer sector but to lenders only. What this means to you is that you can still receive a credit report from Experian when you request it or purchase it, but you will no longer receive your Experian FICO Score.

Initially, this does not seem like a hindrance on how to get your FICO Score, since Equifax and TransUnion still provide consumers with their FICO Score along with their credit report. Unfortunately, most businesses rely on Experian’s FICO Score to determine a consumer’s credit worthiness. How to get your FICO Score from Experian may not be a lost cause. Your bank may be able to provide you with a copy of your Experian FICO Score. Even your mortgage lender may be able to furnish a copy of your Experian FICO Score to you as both your bank and mortgage company will have access to it.

Your credit is a treasure to be guarded as it holds the key to accessing purchasing power and creating a stable financial environment for you. While it may be inconvenient now to only have two FICO Scores within reach you can still use these scores to gauge what your Experian FICO Score may state. Also requesting assistance from your banking or lending institution in obtaining your Experian FICO Score is still a viable option. Regardless of whether you can obtain your FICO Score or not we all know it is our own responsibility to be trustworthy with our finances by paying our bills on time and honoring debts owed.