First Entertainment Credit Union
Get Smart

Financial Literacy Series

Understanding the Power of King FICO

King FICOWhen it comes to lending, interest rates and loan approvals, FICO is king (or queen!) So it's important that you know a little (or a lot) about FICO. The FICO Score is the standard credit score in the U.S., used in more than 90% of lending decisions.

You have the right to a free copy of your credit file once a year. But, be cautious of web sites offering "free" credit reports. Many of them are only free for a short period of time and then you get charged. Always read the fine print before buying a credit product that you may not need.

Here's how you can get a free copy of your credit file

The Federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act) which amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows you to get one free copy of your credit file every 12 months from each of the nationwide credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You may request your free annual credit file:

  • Online at www.annualcreditreport.com
  • By calling: 1-877-322-8228, or mail:
  • Annual Credit Report Request Service
    P.O. Box 105281
    Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

And here are some good tips to help you get your score healthy:

  1. Be Diligent
    Get that copy of your FICO score annually and make sure you understand it.
  2. Don't Pay Bills Late
    Late payments can wreak havoc on a FICO score. Automatic (ePayments) can help!
  3. Know the FICO
    Understand how the FICO score works! Look at the infographic on this page and also see our brochure on knowing your FICO score.
  4. Make Repairs
    You have the right to fix any errors on your report! The Federal Trade Commission has resources to guide you through fixing errors on your report.
  5. Get Smart
    Use good judgment. Don't get overextended and only buy things you can afford. Sounds simple, right? Well, for most people it's easier said than done. Be smart and your FICO should improve!

We have a great brochure that explains everything you would ever want to know about your FICO score. And, if it doesn't answer every question, or you just want to talk – about FICO, or the weather, or anything else – call us at 888-800-3328. That's why we're here.

How does California stack up against other states when it comes to FICO scores?
The infographic on this page shows you. California actually ranks in the middle of the scale. How is your FICO score? Have you checked lately?

FICO Scores by State (infographic):

FICO infographic

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