Credit Rating Check: What is It?

A credit rating check is usually done by financial companies such as credit cards and banks on consumers who want to borrow money from them. A credit rating is a number that represents the consumer’s creditworthiness. It is used to evaluate any potential risk that may arise should the borrower not be able to pay his/her debts.

In the United States of America, the FICO score is widely used in a credit rating check. FICO or Fair Isaac Corporation is a publicly listed company in the New York Stocks Exchange that provides decision making and analytics services to help financial companies such as banks and credit card companies in making high volume, complex decisions. The company was started by Earl Isaac and Bill Fair in 1956.

The FICO score which is utilized in credit rating check is composed of 35% Payment History; 30% Credit Utilization; 15% Length of Credit History; 10% Types of Credits Used; and 10% Recent Searches for Credit. The Payment History can cause the FICO score to be reduced if one is late in settling his/her bills while it can also cause the score to be increased if one pays his/her bills on time. A low credit utilization ratio can increase a FICO score while a high credit utilization ratio can decrease the FICO score. A credit utilization ratio is the ratio between the current revolving debt and the total available credit limit.

The length of credit history, which also comprises the FICO score, can have a great impact in the score especially if one has a long history of credit. If a consumer is using different kinds of credit such as revolving, installment, mortgage, and consumer finance, then he/she can increase his/her FICO score. The number of credit rating check can minimize the FICO score. It a consumer continually searches for credit in short periods of time then they will recorded in the credit report which can affect his/her credit rating. However, a credit rating check initiated by an employer for purposes of employee verification; self-check; and pre-screened offers for insurance or credit, do not have any impact on the FICO score.

The FICO score can range from 300 to 850 with 723 as its median score. 60% of the scores are between 650 and 799. In the United States of America, any resident can initiate his/her own credit rating check for free. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act or FACT ACT requires that a free credit report be issued to the US resident once a year by the three credit reporting agencies, which are Transunion, Experian, and Equifax. Credit ratings can different between the three companies as they use different data.

A credit rating can also be used by insurance companies in pricing its homeowner’s and auto insurances. If a credit rating check reveals a high credit score then there’s a great probability that less premiums are charged to the consumer because studies show that people with high credit rating have less claims. Also, if the credit rating check reveals a high FICO rating then the person can also be offered low interest rates on loans and mortgages.

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