The FICO score system is used by nearly all major banks, lenders, credit card companies, and property managers, to judge how well you are able to manage your finances. Any time you apply for a loan, credit card, apartment, or lease, your FICO is checked and used to determine whether or not you get approved. It's time to take responsibility for your finances and check your credit score. Knowing where your credit stands is the best first step towards improving and maintaining your financial reputation.
While the exact formula used by the Fair Issac Corporation (FICO) to determine your credit score is a closely guarded secret, the approximate breakdown is as follows: 35% of your score is determined by whether or not you make your payments on time, 30 % by the total about of debt your currently carry, 15% by the length of your credit history, 10% by the types of credit you currently carry, and 10% of your credit is determined by recent credit inquiries made by creditors. It is important to also realize that many of these categories can be influenced by erroneous entries, outdated information, and duplicate items, so be sure to thoroughly check over a copy of your credit report for anything that seems out of place.
So just how do you check your credit report and FICO score for free? You do it online, of course. Thanks to federal regulations that were established in 2003, you are legally entitled to receive your credit report for free, once per year. To request your free report and score simply log onto one of the dozens of reputable credit reporting agencies' websites and fill out the required information. It's really that easy, and should only take a couple minutes. Frequently checking your credit score is one of the most important things you can to protect and improve your finances.