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Your FICO Score

The FICO model is used by the vast majority of banks and credit grantors, and is based on consumer credit files of the three national credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Credit Scores and Reports

Keeping track of your credit report is a smart move. Not only can it help alert you of possible identity theft, it's also a way to make sure your information and credit history are correct – which is especially important if you're about to apply for a loan.

Good credit scores can help you secure more favorable interest rates and lower fees. A bad score can raise the cost of borrowing or even cause the lender to reject your application.

What determines your credit score?

35% Payment history (on-time payments and/or delinquencies)
30% Capacity (available credit you can use)
15% Length of credit
10% Accumulation of debt within the last 12 - 18 months
10% Mix of credit – installment loans vs credit card or finance company loans

How can you improve your score?

  • Pay off or pay down on your credit cards
  • Increase your credit capacity by using no more than 30% of your available credit
  • Do not close credit card accounts because your credit capacity may decrease
  • Continue to make payments on time (older late payments will become less significant with time)
  • Refrain from opening new accounts until your credit capacity has improved
  • Acquire a solid credit history with years of experience

What actions will hurt your credit score?

  • Missing payments (regardless of dollar amounts - it can take up to 24 months to restore credit with one late payment)
  • Credit cards at maximum capacity (maxing out credit cards)
  • Shopping for credit excessively
  • Opening up numerous credit lines in a short time frame
  • Having more revolving credit debt in relation to installment credit debt
  • Closing credit card accounts (this could lower available capacity)
  • Borrowing from finance companies

Approximate credit weight for each year:

40% Current to 12 months
30% 13 - 24 months
20% 25 - 36 months
10% 37+ months

As a US consumer you're entitled to one free credit report per year, from each of the big three consumer credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. There is a link on our website for you to get your free credit report. Click here.

You do not get your credit score with your free credit reports. You can pay for your credit score, get a free FICO score with certain credit cards, or you can get estimated score for free. The free scores are estimates and do not deliver actual FICO scores. The FICO estimates do, however, give you an idea of where your credit rating stands and lets you know if you need to improve your credit score. One of the sites that will estimate your credit score is Credit Karma.

*Fayette County National Bank not endorse or recommend and has no liability in connection with the effectiveness of any programs, products, processes, or services mentioned. Any mention of a specific product or service are examples and for informational purposes only.