Your Credit Score, Understanding It

A study in 2007 by Bankrate showed that 45% of US consumers don't know their own credit score and 32% have never even looked at their credit report. The current numbers are probably not much better and it's no wonder.

Everyone may be in debt, but your credit score is probably not as bad as you think.

There are actually 3 different methods, but the FICO credit score is a common one. Credit scores can range from 300 to 850, and the higher number indicates a better credit rating.

Using a complex math equation, 5 areas of a credit report are weighed to make up your FICO credit score: payment history (35%), length of credit history (15%), amounts owed (30%), new credit (10%), and types of accounts you have (10%). Some things are not counted toward your score at all, like age, sex, national origin and marital status.

Banks, finance companies, and other lenders look at your credit score to make credit decisions about you, including what interest rates to apply when you ask for a loan.

Looking at the numbers on a national scale, FICO reports that 7% have a score of 549 or less. 20% are in the 550 to 649 range. 33% are in the middle at 650 to 749 on the scale. Another 27% are between 750 and 799, and the top 13% have a score above 800.

To find out what your credit score is, you can get a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the 3 major US credit bureaus by going to There are other credit report sites out there but if a web site asks you for credit card information then you are NOT on the right web site to get a free report.

You should check your credit report at least once a year so you can be sure that there are no errors on your credit report. Credit record mistakes can cost you thousands of dollars in interest charges that a better score can avoid. You can find more tips about protecting your credit record by clicking here.

Whenever you are considering applying for a loan or new credit card, it's a good idea to consider getting a new copy of your report and checking it out for accurance before you apply for new credit. It can save you big money. And if you find an error on your credit, the report usually tells you how to straighten it out.

If the credit bureau won't remove it, and it's wrong, we can help, but in many cases this is one area where you can do it yourself.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers solve problems since 1978.

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Known nationwide as a leading Lemon Law attorney, Ronald L. Burdge has represented literally thousands of consumers in "lemon" lawsuits and actively co-counsels and coaches other Consumer Law attorneys. From 2005 through 2018, attorney Ronald L. Burdge has been named as the only Lemon Law Ohio Super Lawyer by Law and Politics magazine and Thomson Reuters Corp., Professional Division. Burdge restricts his practice to Lemon Law and Consumer Law cases. The Ohio Super Lawyer results are published annually in the January issue of Cincinnati Magazine. Ronald L. Burdge was named Consumer Law Trial Lawyer of the Year 2004 by the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the nation's largest organization of consumer law private and government attorneys. "Your impact on the auto industry has been magnified many times over because of the trail you blazed for others," stated NACA's Executive Director, Will Ogburn. Burdge has represented thousands of consumers in Ohio, Kentucky and elsewhere since 1978 and is a frequent lecturer to national, state and local Bar Associations and Judicial organizations. Burdge is admitted to Ohio's state and federal courts, Kentucky's state courts, and Indiana's federal courts. Other court admissions are on a "pro hac" temporary, case by cases basis.