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Know The Score

What is a credit score?  A credit score is a fluctuating number that represents a person’s credit history.  This number varies as the components of the report change, mostly as recorded by banks, credit card companies, utilities and other lenders or bill collectors.  According to Experian, calculations of a credit score are determined by:


  • Number and severity of late payments
  • Type, number and age of accounts
  • Total debt
  • Recent inquiries (requests for a credit report)


It is also important to note the items not taken into consideration in a credit score, such as:


  • Salary, occupation, title, employer, date employed or employment history (although lenders may take these into consideration)
  • Place of residence
  • Age, race, religion, national origin, sex, marital status
  • Any interest rate being charged on a particular credit card or other account
  • Any items reported as child/family support obligations or rental agreements
  • Certain types of inquiries.  The score does not include consumer disclosure inquiries in which individuals view their own credit reports to ensure accuracy (strongly recommended).  It also does not include the promotional inquiries made by lenders to create “pre-approved” credit offers.  Inquiries for employment purposes are similarly not included.


A credit score is also referred to as a FICO score named for the Fair Isaac Co. which created the scoring system.  The credit score scale runs from 300 to 850.  The higher the credit score, the better!  According to, the majority of individuals have scores between 600 and 800.  Individuals with scores of 720 or higher receive the most favorable interest rates.  Those individuals with the highest credit scores receive the lowest interest rates on items such as mortgages, car loans, credit cards, or auto insurance. 


For further information, contact Louis P. Stanasolovich, CFP ä at (412) 635-9210 or e-mail him at

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