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How FICO Scores Help You

FICO® Scores give lenders a fast, objective estimate of your credit risk.

Before the use of scoring, the credit granting process could be slow, inconsistent and unfairly biased. Credit scores-especially FICO® Scores, the most widely used credit scores-have made possible big improvements in the credit process.

Because of FICO® Scores:

People can get loans faster.

  FICO® Scores can be delivered almost instantaneously, helping lenders speedup loan approvals. This means that when you apply for credit, you'll get an answer more quickly. Today many credit decisions can be made within minutes-or online, within seconds. Even a mortgage application can be approved in hours instead of weeks for borrowers who score above a lender's "score cutoff". FICO® Scores also allow retail stores, internet sites and other lenders to make "instant credit" decisions.

Credit decisions are fairer.

  Using FICO® Scores, lenders can focus only on the facts related to credit risk, rather than their personal opinions or biases. Factors like your gender, race, religion, nationality and marital status are not considered by FICO® Scores. So when a lender considers your FICO® score, they are getting an evaluation of your credit history that is fair and objective.

Older credit problems count for less.

  If you have had poor credit performance in the past, FICO® Scores don't let that haunt you forever. The impact of past credit problems on your FICO® Score fades as time passes and as recent good payment patterns show up on your credit report. And FICO® Scores weigh any credit problems against the positive information that says you're managing your credit well.

 

DOES MY FICO® SCORE ALONE DETERMINE WHETHER I GET CREDIT?

  No. Most lenders use a number of facts to make credit decisions, including your FICO® Score Lenders may look at information such as the amount of debt you can reasonably handle given your income, your employment history, and your credit history. Based on their review of this information, as well as their specific underwriting policies, lenders may extend credit to you although your FICO® Score is low, or decline your request for credit although your FICO® Score is high.
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