Credit ratings, and you
A little known feature of Credit is your credit rating. This is a numerical ranking created by one company (or a small number of companies) and provided to the companies that make loans. Those companies in turn use your credit rating to determine how much they're willing to loan you, and at what interest rate. While, if you've been following the recommendations on this site, it's a good idea to limit your use of credit, it is very hard to avoid using credit in these modern times. Since your credit rating affects your use of credit so greatly it is a good idea to know where you stand, and how to improve your score.
The credit rating process used to operate in secret, but is now a bit more openly performed.
The company? Why, it is Fair Isaac (http://www.fairisaac.com/). Or, as they say:
Fair Isaac Corporation (NYSE:FIC) is the preeminent provider of creative analytics that unlock value for people, businesses and industries. The company's predictive modeling, decision analysis, intelligence management, decision management systems and consulting services power more than 25 billion mission-critical customer decisions a year.
Founded in 1956, Fair Isaac helps thousands of companies in over 60 countries acquire customers more efficiently, increase customer value, reduce fraud and credit losses, lower operating expenses and enter new markets more profitably. As of August 2002, HNC Software Inc., a leading provider of high-end analytic and decision management software, is part of Fair Isaac.
But rather than spend a lot of time going over Fair Isaac, the company, let's look at the service they offer.
Your FICO score is a principle rating used by many businesses whenever extending credit. It pays to know where you stand in terms of this credit rating. To assist you understanding this, look here
Apparently the details of the credit scoring vary somewhat depending on the company to which Fair Isaac provides the scoring information. Notice that the FICO score has different names depending on the credit reporting agency to which Fair Isaac gives the data. In any case, it is a numerical rating from 0 through over 800.
You can order a variety of reports through Fair Isaac, including your FICO score.
How Fair Is Fair Isaac? Business Week (http://www.businessweek.com/bw50/content/apr2002/bf2002044_4533.htm)
The Motley Fool credit center (http://www.fool.com/ccc/ccc.htm)