What Consumers need to know about credit scores:
  • Sources only reflect a consumer's own past credit history, not any personal characteristics such as age, gender or income.
  • A low score could not only cost a consumer up to thousands of dollars a year in additional finance charges, they can also result in a consumer being denied access to credit, insurance, electric and telephone service, a rental unit, and even a job,
  • Consumers with scores below 600 are typically charged relatively high, sub prime loan rates. Consumers with scores over 700 are usually charged relatively low rates and those with scores over 760 are charged the lowest rates.
  • The most effective steps a consumer can take to improve their credit score are: pay their bills consistently and on time. If they have missed payments, get current and stay current. Don't max-out your credit cards or other "revolving credit." Pay off debt rather than moving it around and don't open many new accounts rapidly. Check your credit report to make sure it's error-free.
  • Consumers can purchase their credit scores and reports from all three credit bureaus for $38.85 by contacting Fair Isaac (myFICO.com) or individual reports from each of the three bureaus for $9 each - TransUnion (www.transunion.com) Experian (www.experian.com), Equifax (www.equifax.com).

See the related links below for additional information about credit scores.