California (OPENPRESS) August 12, 2011 - In a recent survey, it was found that approximately 49 percent of consumers polled were not aware that their FICO credit score calculates their credit score to measure their credit risk.
In fact, lenders have used FICO scores for many years to determine whether a consumer pays his bills, and whether he should be granted a loan. These days, insurance companies, cell phone carriers, utilities, landlords and even many employers will check your score to see if you are stable and trustworthy.
Each of the three reporting agencies is required to provide consumers with a free credit report each year, and they will also calculate your credit score for a fee. Your credit score doesn't truly reflect your FICO score, but it can help you see how a lender would view your credit history.
What can damage your FICO score? Moving a lot and changing jobs frequently. Creditors like stability - they want to know you'll be around and that you have a steady, reliable income.
If you are slow at paying your bills or miss them all together, creditors take notice. These areas are the two most important factors in your score. Creditors also want to know how you'll handle debt. If you're not carrying any installment debt, it could hurt your score.
If you have too many outstanding balances, creditors may worry that you are using your credit to fund your daily living expenses. If you have too much available credit, creditors may fear you'll run up those accounts and you won't be able to pay your other bills.
If your credit report reflects numerous inquiries, creditors may feel you are constantly searching for new credit. This can cast a negative shadow as well.
A low score can affect your ability to get a credit card, personal loan, line of credit, cell phone, mortgage, car loan or insurance. Treat your credit with respect.