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What is a credit score (FICO score)?
By Mary K. Phillips

A credit score (a numeric score from 500 800) is a numerical index which represents an estimate of an individual's financial creditworthiness used to predict the relative likelihood that you will repay a credit obligation: applicant's credit card history; amount of outstanding debt; the type of credit used; negative information such as bankruptcies or late payments; collection accounts and judgments; too little credit history, and too many credit lines with the maximum amount borrowed.

Lenders, such as banks and credit card companies, use credit scores to determine credit limits and interest rates. Higher scores generally indicate lower risk to lenders and can mean a better interest rate and lower payments.  The most well-known credit score in the mortgage industry has been developed by Fair, Isaacs and Company and is often referred to as the FICO score.

 

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