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What's a FICO® score? Your FICO® score is the numeric representation of your financial responsibility, based on your credit history. Based on a scale of 300 -850, there are three FICO® scores - one from each national credit bureau. These three FICO® scores are the measure that most lenders will look at when evaluating your credit or loan applications.

Along with the credit report, lenders can also buy a credit score based on the information in the report. That score is calculated by a mathematical equation that evaluates many types of information that are on your credit report at that agency. By comparing this information to the patterns in hundreds of thousands of past credit reports, the score identifies your level of future credit risk.

In order for a FICO® score to be calculated on your credit report, the report must contain at least one account which has been open for six months or greater. In addition, the report must contain at least one account that has been updated in the past six months. This ensures that there is enough information - and enough recent information - in your report on which to base a score.

About FICO scores
Credit bureau scores are often called "FICO scores" because most credit bureau scores used in the US are produced from software developed by Fair Isaac and Company. FICO scores are provided to lenders by the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

FICO scores provide the best guide to future risk based solely on credit report data. The higher the score, the lower the risk. But no score says whether a specific individual will be a "good" or "bad" customer. And while many lenders use FICO scores to help them make lending decisions, each lender has its own strategy, including the level of risk it finds acceptable for a given credit product. There is no single "cutoff score" used by all lenders and there are many additional factors that lenders use to determine your actual interest rates. However you can now see what interest rates lenders typically offer consumers based on FICO score ranges.


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