• Account payment information on specific types of accounts (credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts, mortgage, etc.)
• Presence of adverse public records (bankruptcy, judgments, suits, liens, wage attachments, etc.), collection items, and/or delinquency (past due items)
• Severity of delinquency (how long past due)
• Amount past due on delinquent accounts or collection items
• Time since (recency of) past due items (delinquency), adverse public records (if any), or collection items (if any)
• Number of past due items on file
• Number of accounts paid as agreed
• Amount owing on accounts
• Amount owing on specific types of accounts
• Lack of a specific type of balance, in some cases
• Number of accounts with balances
• Proportion of credit lines used (proportion of balances to total credit limits on certain types of revolving accounts)
• Proportion of installment loan amounts still owing (proportion of balance to original loan amount on certain types of installment loans)
Length of Credit History
• Time since accounts opened
• Time since accounts opened, by specific type of account
• Time since account activity
• Number of recently opened accounts, and proportion of accounts that are recently opened, by type of account
• Number of recent credit inquiries
• Time since recent account opening(s), by type of account
• Time since credit inquiry(s)
• Re-establishment of positive credit history following past payment problems
Types of Credit Used
• Number of (presence, prevalence, and recent information on) various types of accounts (credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, mortgage, consumer finance accounts, etc.)
Please note that:
• A FICO score takes into consideration all these categories of information, not just one or two. No one piece of information or factor alone will determine your score.
• The importance of any factor depends on the overall information in your credit report. For some people, a given factor may be more important than for someone else with a different credit history. In addition, as the information in your credit report changes, so does the importance of any factor in determining your FICO score. Thus, it’s impossible to say exactly how important any single factor is in determining your score – even the levels of importance shown here are for the general population, and will be different for different credit profiles. What’s important is the mix of information, which varies from person to person, and for any one person over time.
• Your FICO score only looks at information in your credit report. However, lenders look at many things when making a credit decision including your income, how long you have worked at your present job and the kind of credit you are requesting.
• Your score considers both positive and negative information in your credit report. Late payments will lower your score, but establishing or re-establishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your FICO credit score. Source: www.myfico.com
Identity Theft Protection
• Check your credit report once a year.
• Guard you Social Security number.
• Be cautious giving information orally in public.
• Carefully destroy papers you throw out.
• Be suspicious of phone solicitors.
• Delete without replying to any suspicious email requests.
• Use a locked mailbox to send and receive mail.
What is Phishing?
Phishing attacks are ‘spoofed’ emails and fraudulent websites designed to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data such as credit card numbers, account usernames and passwords, social security numbers, etc. By hijacking the trusted brands of well-known banks, online retailers and credit card companies, phishers are able to convince up to 5% of recipients to respond to them.
How to Avoid Phishing Scams
• Be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for personal financial information.
• Don’t use the links in an email to get to any web page, if you suspect the message might not be Authentic.
• Always ensure that you are using a secure website when submitting credit card or other sensitive information via your Web browser.
• Consider installing a Web browser tool bar to help protect you from known phishing fraud websites.
• Regularly log in your online accounts and check your credit union, credit card statements to make sure that all transactions are legitimate.
• Ensure that your browser is up to date and security patches applied.
If your Account Information, Credit, Debit, or ATM Card Information is Stolen
• Report the theft of this information to the card issuer as quickly as possible.
• Cancel your account and open a new one.
• Review your billing statements carefully after the loss.