Your Free FICO® Score
Why am I seeing my FICO® Score?
America First's mission is to help members develop & maintain financial well-being. Knowing and understanding your FICO® Score is an important part of achieving such a beneficial condition. This is another tool that will help you choose credit wisely, establish repayment goals, and accomplish more.
Will receiving my score from America First impact my credit?
No. Providing your FICO® Score is a free service that does not impact your credit in any way.
What is a credit score?
It's a three-digit snapshot of your credit file at one of the three major consumer reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion—that is compiled at a particular time. It provides financial companies with information to make lending decisions. It also influences your interest rate & other loan terms.
Why does FICO® compile these scores?
Your score allows lenders to gauge your credit risk quickly, consistently, and objectively. Basically, it assists them in assessing how likely you are to meet your financial obligations, considering what you've actually borrowed and paid back.
The Five Key Ingredients
1. Payment history:
Approximately 35% is based on this data, which includes:
- Credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans & finance company loans.
- Reports of public record and collection items: bankruptcies, foreclosures, lawsuits, wage attachments, liens & judgments.
- Details on late or missed payments, also known as delinquencies.
- The number of accounts showing no late payments or paid as agreed.
2. Amounts you owe:
About 30% evaluates how much debt you have:
- Amount owed on all of your accounts.
- What you owe on different account types.
- Whether you show balances on certain accounts.
- The number of accounts with balances.
- The percentage of your total credit line (credit cards & other revolving accounts) in use.
- How much you owe on your installment accounts, compared with the original loan amounts.
3. Credit history:
15% is about this topic. A more extensive credit history generally increases your score.
- How long your accounts have been open, including the age of your oldest and the total average age.
- How long specific credit accounts have been established.
- How long it has been since you used certain accounts.
4. New credit:
10% is calculated by this information. Research shows that opening several credit accounts in a short time period represents greater risk.
- How many accounts you opened.
- How long since you acquired a new account.
- How many recent requests for credit you've made.
- The last time lenders inquired about credit.
- If you have a good recent credit history, despite any past payment problems.
5. Types of credit in use:
FICO® Scores are about 10% related to your mix of credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts & mortgages. It's not necessary to have one of each.
- What kind of credit accounts you have & if they are comprised of both revolving (credit cards) and installment (fixed amounts and payments).
- How many account types you have.
How can my FICO® Score help me?
- You'll get credit faster. Scores help lenders speed up approvals.
- Lending decisions are fair. Companies can focus on the facts related to your borrowing risk, rather than their personal opinions or biases.
- Former credit problems count less.
- A higher score can save you significantly on loan terms, including interest rates.
From which credit reporting agency are you getting my score?
We're displaying a number based on Experian data.
What is typically a good score?
It varies by the institution. For example, an auto lender may offer lower interest rates to people with FICO® Scores above 680, another may use 720, and so on.
What is the range of scores?
Between 300 and 850.
What are the minimum requirements for a score?
To calculate a score, your credit file must contain:
- At least one account that has been open for six months or more.
- At least one undisputed account that has been reported to the credit agency within the last six months.
- No indication of a deceased notation on your credit file (if you share an account with someone and the other is reported as deceased, it's important to check and ensure you are not affected).
Why are my scores at each of the reporting agencies different?
They are calculated separately using a formula FICO® developed. It's normal for your score at the three agencies to be slightly different.
What are my score's key factors?
When a lender receives your FICO® Score, key factors are also delivered. Take a close look at them and make efforts to improve these areas of your finances. Addressing some or all of these topics can help you more responsibly manage your money.
What's an inquiry?
When you apply for credit, you authorize those lenders to obtain a copy of your report from an agency, creating an inquiry. The only inquiries relevant to your score are new applications.
How are inquiries judged?
Those generating FICO® Scores consider these carefully, because all are not related to credit risk. Typically, inquiries carry less importance than late payments, amounts owed & your history.
Does my score alone determine whether I get credit?
No. Lenders will look at your score, the amount of debt you can reasonably handle given your income, your employment history, your credit history & other variables.
Tips for maintaining a good FICO® Score:
- Developing financial health takes time, so the sooner you get started, the better.
- Those who have a moderate number of open credit accounts have a lower risk.
- People who always pay their bills on time are more favorable to lenders.
- Collections and delinquent payments, even if only a few days late, can have major effects on scores.
- Older credit problems are less detrimental than recent ones.
- If you find yourself in need, seeking financial assistance from America First will not harm your credit.
- High outstanding credit card debt has negative consequences.
- Paying down total revolving debt, rather than moving it from one credit card to another, is always a good idea.
- People with no credit cards tend to be more risky than those who have handled these accounts responsibly.
How long will negative information remain on my credit file?
It depends, but here's a breakdown:
- Late payments: seven years.
- Bankruptcies: seven years for a completed Chapter 13 & 10 years for Chapter 7 and 11.
- Foreclosures: seven years.
- Collections: about 7 years, depending on the debt's age.
- Public records: usually 7 years, although unpaid tax liens can stay there indefinitely.
FICO® Scores are intended for and delivered only to the Primary account holders and only if a FICO® Score is available. Disclosure of this score is not available for all products and America First Credit Union may change or discontinue this benefit at our discretion.