Learn more about FICO® Scores
Understanding your FICO® Score can help you achieve and maintain a high credit score which can provide you with more financial possibilities.
What is a FICO® Score?
Your credit score summarizes your credit risk based on the information in your credit report at any given time. In general, the higher your score, the lower the risk to a potential lender. The most commonly used scores are FICO® Scores, which are created by Fair Isaac Corporation. FICO® Scores are available through all three major reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
The FICO® Score we provide is the FICO® Auto Score 8 based on Equifax data and may be viewed online anytime. While your FICO® Score will always be available online, it is only retrieved from Equifax and updated monthly. This score ranges from 250 to 900. The higher the score, the better the score.
Higher FICO® Scores are a result of healthy credit behaviors, and the best way to get and maintain a higher FICO® Score is to demonstrate good financial decisions over time.
What makes up my score?
FICO® Scores are calculated from many different pieces of credit data in your credit report. This data is grouped into five categories as outlined below. The percentages in the chart reflect how important each of the categories is in determining how FICO® Scores are calculated.
- Payment history (35% of your scores):
Whether you've paid credit accounts on time
- Amounts owed & utilization (30% of your scores):
Balances of loans and utilization of credit compared to how much you have available
- Length of credit history (15% of your scores):
How long your accounts have been open
- New credit (10% of your scores):
Frequency of credit inquires and new account openings
- Credit mix (10% of your scores):
The mix of your credit, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans
What can I do to improve my score?
Pay your bills on time.
Avoid having payments go to collections.
Keep balances low on credit cards and other "revolving credit". (the lower the better)
Don't close unused credit cards in an attempt to raise your scores.
Rate shop for a given loan within a short period of time to avoid multiple inquiries on your report.
Have credit but manage it responsibly.
Checking your own credit reports and FICO® Score will not lower your scores.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How often will I receive my FICO® Score?
Program participants will receive their updated FICO® Auto Score 8 based on Equifax Data on a monthly basis, when available.
Will receiving my FICO® Score impact my credit?
No. The FICO® Score we provide to you will not impact your credit.
Why is my FICO® Score not available?
There are a few possible reasons that your FICO® Score may not be available at this time. These reasons can include:
- You are a new member of FCU. It may take a month or 2 before your score is available as part of our monthly score refresh process
- You have not yet opted in to this free benefit
- You do not have enough credit (loan) history to have a score
- Your score was temporarily unavailable at the time of our monthly score refresh process
- You opted out of this benefit
Where does the information used to calculate my FICO® Score come from?
A FICO® Score is based on the credit information in a credit file with a particular consumer reporting agency (CRA) at the time the score is calculated. The information in your credit files is supplied by lenders, collection agencies and court records. Not all lenders report to all three major CRAs. The FICO® Score that we provide to you is based on data from your Equifax report as of the ‘pulled on date’ shown with your score.
What are Key Score Factors?
When a lender receives a FICO® Score, "key score factors" are also delivered, which explain the top factors from the information in the credit report that affected the score. The order in which FICO® Score factors are listed is important. The first indicates the area that most affected that particular FICO® Score and the second is the next significant area. Knowing these score factors can help you better understand your financial health over time. However, if you already have a high FICO® Score (usually in the mid-700s or higher), score factors are informative but, not as significant since they represent very marginal areas where your score was affected.
Why is my FICO® Score different than other scores I’ve seen?
There are many different credit scores available to consumers and lenders. FICO® Scores are the credit scores used by most lenders, and different lenders may use different versions of FICO® Scores. In addition, FICO® Scores are based on credit file data from a particular consumer reporting agency, so differences in your credit files may create differences in your FICO® Scores. The FICO® Auto Score 8 based on Equifax Data that is being made available to you through this program is the specific score that FCU uses to manage your account. When reviewing a score, take note of the score date, consumer reporting agency credit file source, score type, and range for that particular score.
Why do FICO® Scores fluctuate/change?
There are many reasons why a score may change. FICO® Scores are calculated each time they are requested, taking into consideration the information that is in your credit file from a particular consumer reporting agency (CRA) at that time. So, as the information in your credit file at that CRA changes, FICO® Scores can also change. Review your key score factors, which explain what factors from your credit report most affected a score. Comparing key score factors from the two different time periods can help identify causes for a change in a FICO® Score. Keep in mind that certain events such as late payments or bankruptcy can lower FICO® Scores quickly.
How do I check my credit report?
Because your FICO® Score is based on the information in your credit report, it is important to make sure that the credit report information is accurate. You may get a free copy of your credit report annually. To request a copy of your credit report, please visit: https://www.annualcreditreport.com. Please note that your free credit report will not include your FICO® Score.
Why are you providing FICO® Scores?
Reviewing your FICO® Scores can help you learn how lenders view your credit risk and allow you to better understand your financial health.
As a member of the credit union, you’re entitled to a free credit report analysis. Call or stop by your local branch to take advantage of this free service. The tools are all available to you, it's up to you to be proactive about your credit score!
For additional information, review FICO® Score FAQs and Understanding FICO® Scores.
FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries. Florida Credit Union and Fair Isaac are not credit repair organizations as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Florida Credit Union and Fair Isaac do not provide "credit repair" services or advice or assistance regarding "rebuilding" or "improving" your credit record, credit history or credit rating.