So how's your credit score? The three national credit scoring bureaus lump a combination of your payment history, your debt, how long you've had an account, new credit accounts, and the type of credit accounts you carry into one rating called your FICO score. "FICO" is an acronym for "Fair Isaac and COmpany," the very first credit-scoring business.
The scores start at a rock-bottom 500 and top out at 850. You need a minimum score of 620 to get the decent interest rates, but higher is always better.
You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three bureaus once each year. You can get yours here, but the credit report itself may not tell you where your FICO score is at.
For that, you need to go to My FICO, and pay about $13 per credit bureau to get the actual score from each one.
You can, however, also find a wealth of other free information there on how to improve your credit, which drives everything from the mortgage interest rate you'll pay to your credit card offers to even what you'll pay for home and auto insurance.
WHAT THOSE CREDIT CARD APPLICATIONS REALLY MEAN
When it says: "You have demonstrated financial responsibility."
It means: "You're breathing!"
When it says: "Our membership is difficult to obtain..."
It means: "For death row inmates, in most states."
When it says: "We have shortened the application process."
It means: "We need lots of new members, FAST, or we'll go out of business."
When it says: "Exceptional Customer Service."
It means: "Except when you need it."
When it says: "Fill out this short form..."
It means: "You'll get the really long form later."
When it says: "You may direct us not to share this information with anyone else."
It means: "Try and stop us!"
When it says: "You've been preapproved..."
It means: "We've already approved your letter of denial."
[selected from unwind.com; edited together by Mark Raymond]
WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God." (1 Peter 2:20)