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FICO Credit Score Range

If you ask anyone who knows much about credit scores, there’s one thing that most people know – the FICO credit score range goes from 300 to 850. The lowest possible FICO score you can get is a 300 and a perfect, albeit unrealistic and unnecessary, score is 850. However, knowing the range alone doesn’t really tell you much. You need to understand the “texture” of that range.

Is the range linear or logarithmic? Is the distribution of scores even across each value or is it a normalized distribution? The texture of the range can give you a better understanding about credit scores, much more than simply knowing the numbers in the range.

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How To Get An Experian Credit Score

ExperianIn February this year, Experian did something that “shocked” the credit score enthusiasts world (yes, such a world exists and they have a very vibrant and very knowledgeable community in the myFICO forums): they announced that they would no longer be offering Experian credit scores to myFICO users. Many on the myFICO forums were furious.

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How To Get A Free FICO Credit Score

Your FICO credit score is increasingly becoming one of the most important numbers in your life. I’ve written about what’s in your FICO credit score as well as how to get FICO credit score estimates, but never how to get the actual three-digit FICO score calculated by one of the bureaus.

While the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) did wonders to shed light on the credit reporting industry and the data they are collecting on all of us, the light wasn’t bright enough. There is no way for you to get a free FICO credit score unless you sign up for a trial with one of the bureaus or with Fair Isaac Corporation directly.

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MyFICO ScoreWatch No-Hassle Trial Cancellation

MyFICOI can’t remember the last time a company with a trial service reminded you that your trial period was expiring, but that’s exactly what MyFICO did.

What’s even better is that you can cancel the service online just by clicking on this link: https://www.myfico.com/scorewatch/cancelsw.aspx. You might be prompted to login but you can cancel the service entirely online. Once you click the cancel button on that page, your trial is canceled. You don’t have to talk to a customer service representative, you don’t have to wait on hold, you don’t have to deal with any shenanigans. They try to sell you their other products and they will do their best to try to change your mind, but you’re one click away from ending the trial.

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How Accurate Are Credit Estimators?

Red LED ScoreboardQuick answer? Close enough.

A while back I wrote about two free credit score estimates tools: myFICO’s Credit Estimator and CreditKarma. In the course of reviewing myFICO’s ScoreWatch, I learned my actual credit score. So the natural question was, how did my real score compare to my actual score?

The answer is that they were close, but not within the same “tier” of credit quality. The difference isn’t surprising though because they used data from different bureaus and each used their own equation for calculating the score. I think the scores were “close enough” to validate the use of credit score estimators. Here’s how they stacked up.

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Don’t Buy Suze Orman FICO Kit Platinum (Yet)

Suze Orman Show - Maserati DENIED!If you were planning on buying Suze Orman FICO Kit Platinum, just wait a week.

MyFICO is going to announce a 20% sale on Suze Orman’s FICO KIT Platinum next week that will run from February 17th through March 7th. To get $20% off, just use the coupon code SUZEFEB09 after February 17th. The product is normally $49.95 so the 20% off will get it to you for $39.96, a savings of almost ten dollars.

I’m not a huge fan of Suze Orman, whenever I stumble onto her television show it seems like she’s berating someone (probably with good reason), and I don’t know much about the FICO Kit outside of what the marketing materials tell me so I can’t say whether it’s a good deal, 20% off or not. It appears to a tool that helps you maintain good behavior that will improve your credit, rather than a product like MyFICO ScoreWatch, which monitors your credit report and score. It has personalized plans to help you improve your credit, it lists all your credit reports and FICO scores (except Experian, because they pulled out), and it contains a myriad of other tools to help you maintain those good behaviors. Whether or not that’s worth forty bucks is up to you but if you do want it, but it in a week and save yourself ten dollars.

(Photo: smokedjerky)


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Free FICO Credit Score Estimates

Your FICO score has become one of the most important indicators of your credit worthiness and so many people are very interested in their score. Credit bureaus know this and so they often sell services that let you see what score they’ve given you. Your credit score is important but for many it’s far more important to pue $30-50 a month away into an savings, so enter in FICO credit score estimators.

Below I’ll talk about two FICO score estimators that I feel are trusthworthy enough to work with. There are a lot of websites out there offering a free FICO credit score or a free FICO credit score estimate that are really just front pages for scams getting you to sign up for monitoring services or other pay services (or they’re out to steal your identity!). Don’t use those. I feel the two services below are the only ones you should trust.

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How Your Credit Score Affects Interest Rates

I was taking advantage of a promotion by myFICO and Equifax that let you see your credit score for free (it was a promotion for the first 10,000, sorry :( , but it was also no strings from what I could tell, I already had an Equifax login from checking my credit history for free annually, so it took 10 seconds) when I saw these charts comparing credit scores to APRs on various loans, here’s one for a 30 year fixed mortgage:

Credit Score 30 Yr. Mortgage
760-850 5.766%
700-759 5.988%
680-699 6.165%
660-679 6.379%
640-659 6.809%
620-639 7.355%
600-619 9.158%
580-599 9.744%
550-579 10.117%
500-549 10.502%



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