Credit Bureaus And FICO: What Are They?
There are many confusing terms in the credit industry: credit bureaus, credit reporting agencies, credit ranking agencies, credit scores, credit reports and FICO. What do they all mean?
Credit bureaus, also called credit reporting agencies, are for-profit companies that collect information about your finances. They compile this data into credit reports, which in turn are used to calculate a credit score. Financial institutions use this information determine whether to lend you money, and on what terms.
At Madgett Law in Minnesota, we focus our practice on helping people address credit issues. Our lawyers hold credit bureaus accountable for errors and violations of your rights.
The Three National Credit Reporting Companies
There are three big players in the credit industry:
Under federal law, you’re entitled to a copy of your credit report from all three agencies. You can request one for free every 12 months.
The Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO)
FICO is another publicly traded company that calculates your credit information and translates it into a credit score, also called a FICO score. These scores range from a low of 300 to a high of 850.
Numerous factors go into your credit score, including:
- Any history of delinquent payments
- The length of time you’ve had credit
- Your debt-to-income ratio
- Your account balances
- The number of credit inquiries you’ve had in a given period
If you think your credit score or credit report are inaccurate, please talk to our attorneys for guidance. We can help you investigate the issue and fix any errors.