Beacon Scores are a perfect example of how confusing credit scores can be and just how many of them we have. Introduced in 1989, “Beacon” is the brand name for certain types of FICO scores based on Equifax credit reports. And there are at least seven versions:
When people talk about getting their “three credit reports,” they’re referring to those from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Although the so-called “big three” credit bureaus are among dozens of consumer reporting agencies, they dominate the market. They compile information on your credit accounts, how promptly you pay, what you owe, legal decisions, and much more.
The best credit score that you can get is 850. But it’s neither easy to reach to this pinnacle of the credit score range, nor always possible. Less than 1% of people have the best credit score possible. And even if you manage your finances perfectly, you still may not achieve it. Fortunately, it’s not something you need to strive for, either.
VantageScore 3.0 is one of the most popular credit scores on the market, both among lenders and consumers. It’s used by more than 2,400 lenders, for example, including 20 of the top 25. And over 8 billion VantageScore 3.0 credit scores are issued per year.
You don’t need the highest possible credit score (850) to have perfect credit. Rather, a perfect credit score is anything above 799. Some experts even say that perfect credit begins at 751. But our research into credit card approval rates indicates the bar is a bit higher.
Perfect credit is more attainable than you might’ve thought for a simple reason: Higher scores won’t save you more money.
It can take as little as one month to build a credit score from scratch, once you get your first credit card or loan. And your first credit score could be anywhere from bad to excellent, depending on whether you pay your bills on time and borrow responsibly. The exact timeframe, however, depends on the company calculating your score and the scoring model they’re using. For example, VantageScore 3.0 is capable of generating a score with just one month of credit history. But it can take three to six months to get a score from other models, including FICO’s.
If you find signs of fraud on your credit report – whether an unrecognized account, an erroneous public record or any other information that seemingly stems from identity theft – you will need to follow a special process to correct the situation. It’s called “suppression.” Most people either don’t know about suppression or confuse it with the standard dispute process, which you might use to correct common credit-report inaccuracies. But there are a number of crucial differences.
Most people would say their “real” credit score is the same exact one used by lenders and insurance companies. Well, guess what? Such scores are effectively impossible to get. Below, you’ll see why that’s the case and learn why being unable to obtain your “real” credit score doesn’t really matter.
A credit score of 600 isn’t “good.” It’s not even “fair.” Rather, a 600 credit score is actually considered “bad,” according to the standard 300 to 850 credit-score scale.
Such a score will make it difficult to get approved for a decent loan or line of credit and could even prevent you from renting an apartment or landing certain jobs. It also figures to cost you thousands of dollars each year compared to someone with a score that’s just 60 points higher, which is the start of good credit.
A credit score of 650 is at the high end of the “fair” credit tier, just shy of the 660 needed to qualify as having “good” credit. Reaching good credit is key not only because it will help you save on everything from credit cards to car insurance, but also because it could open the doors to a new apartment or even certain jobs.
Besides, you can’t reach top WalletFitness without excellent credit, and you can’t get excellent credit without first graduating from a credit score of 650 to a “good” rating. Below, you can learn all about what you can and cannot do with a 650 credit score, the types of people who have 650 credit scores and the steps you can take to put more points on the board.
Your credit score can change whenever new information gets added to your major credit reports. That can happen at any time, but it usually coincides with the statement dates of your loans and lines of credit, which is when lenders typically report account information to the credit bureaus. Your credit score will change if you apply for a new loan or line of credit, too.
A credit score of 720 or higher is typically considered excellent credit. That’s great news for the roughly 38% of us with scores in this top tier of the standard 300 to 850 credit-score range, according to WalletHub data. Excellent credit can save you a lot of money each year, not to mention make it easier to find an apartment or even a job.
In the latest Gallup poll on the most important problems facing the U.S. today, the highest share of respondents identified the “economy in general” as their biggest concern. Asked which political party would best handle America’s problems, 42 percent of those who identified an issue chose the Republican Party, compared with 37 percent in favor of Democrats.
“FICO Score” is the generic name used to describe the many different credit scores produced by the Fair Isaac Corporation. An individual can have as many as 49 different FICO scores, according to credit expert and former Fair Isaac employee John Ulzheimer, among more than 1,000 scores overall.
Bankruptcy is bad news for your credit report. It’s the most derogatory of all notations, wreaking havoc on your credit standing and leaving in its wake significant damage from which you’ll be lucky to recover in less than a decade — the longest sentence for any credit-related transgression.
It’s always frustrating when something doesn’t work, but understanding the potential causes can help by giving you a sense of how long the issue might persist and whether the problem demands any action on your part. With that in mind, if you are unable to enroll in WalletHub’s 24/7 credit monitoring service, this is likely due to one of the following four reasons:
All credit scores are based on the contents of our major credit reports. Your score’s exact calculation, however, will vary by credit-scoring model and the credit bureau reporting the information, which means the factors that move the needle might differ to a certain extent as well. But since all roads ultimately lead back to your credit report, that’s where you should focus.
The truth is that we all start out with no credit score at all. Credit scores are based on the information in our major credit reports, and such reports aren’t even created until we’ve had credit (e.g., a credit card or loan) in our names for at least six months. Without any credit history, reports and scores won’t magically burst into existence when we turn 18 — the age at which we first become eligible to apply for credit — contrary to common myth.
Credit scores rise and fall on a regular basis and for many reasons, which means you shouldn’t jump to any conclusions about either the cause or the cost of this development. In fact, one of the benefits of having access to free daily credit score updates through WalletHub is that you can more closely track how your score changes over time, thus helping you understand what’s normal and what’s cause for true concern.
With that being said, the ability to accurately diagnose and treat any ailment that may befall your credit score is still quite important. Below, we’ve analyzed the 10 biggest reasons why scores have been known to nosedive as well as the actions you can take to stop the descent and take your rating to new heights.