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The FICO score is calculated in a mathematical equation based solely on information in your credit file maintained by the credit reporting agencies. This mathematical formula was devised by Fair, Isaac and Company – hence the name, FICO. While a credit report is your detailed financial history, the FICO score, like a snapshot, represents your creditworthiness as a number at any given time.
FICO scores range from 300 to 850; a higher score indicates a lower credit risk. Although knowing your actual score can help you make realistic financial decisions, it is more important to understand the key factors affecting your score. The FICO score evaluates five main categories of information:
Since your credit score is a crucial factor in determining the amount, rate and terms you qualify for, it’s advised that you check your credit report periodically for accuracy.
You can order a credit report or find out more about credit scores by contacting any of the three main credit reporting agencies:Equifax (1-800-525-6285), Experian (1-888-397-3742) TransUnion (1-800-680-7289). Ordering your credit report directly from these agencies does not affect your credit score.