You probably already know how important it is to protect your financial reputation by taking responsibility to check your FICO credit score at least once a year. Did you know that you can check it free online? If you tend to procrastinate like many of us, I encourage you to make the time to go online and take advantage of obtaining your free personal credit report. Did you know that it is not only your bank and lending institutions that will check your score when you go to apply for a mortgage or any loan but also any potential new employer and even the utility and cell phone companies. That's right you have a lot resting on being sure that your FICO score is an accurate representation of your credit history.
It is important to note that you can actually save money by taking time to be sure the information on file is accurate. That's right, if there is inaccurate information it can lower your score then you could be charged higher interest when you apply for any loan, even a car loan. The higher your score the lower interest rates the lender will charge you because they think of you as a low risk.
The most popular method is to request a free credit report online. There are dozens of reputable companies online offering you this service, free of charge. They will usually offer additional services, such as credit repair and protection services – these services are completely optional. If you're curious how to interpret the FICO scores then take a look below as a guide.
Generally a FICO score ranges between 300 to 850
- 700 to 850 is excellent
- 680 to 700 is good
- 550 to 680 is average
- 450 to 550 is low
- 300 to 450 is likely considered a credit risk
It is really important to become acquainted with your FICO score by checking it at least once a year especially in these times of identity fraud. The sooner that you spot any problems with data entry errors the sooner you can remedy the mistakes and protect your credit score. So, after receiving your free report, be sure to closely inspect it for any errors.