The majority of all significant financial decisions usually come down to a person’s credit unless, of course, they have a whole chunk of cash lying around and don’t need a loan.
For consumers trying to become financial borrowers, there is a wealth of information out there on where to begin and how to improve your credit.
There are also a lot of misconceptions, especially given how complex the subject is.
Barrett Burns, president and CEO at credit-score provider VantageScore Solutions, recently penned a blog on LinkedIn to clear the air after a recent Wall Street Journal article pointed the supposed monopoly FICO holds on credit scores.
Burns outlined five key misperceptions about credit scores. Here’s a peak at two:
1. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different credit scoring models in commercial use today, including some 56 developed by FICO, and three VantageScore models. Lenders rarely disclose which model(s) they use. Most large lenders use their own custom scoring models, which may or may not include commercially available credit scores as inputs.
2. All commercially available credit scores, including those produced by FICO and VantageScore models, are based on information in consumers’ credit files, and housed at the three national credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). So long as they are validated, compliant and come from a credible source, any model that analyzes this data can accurately reflect one’s creditworthiness.
As whole, Burns said he wanted to remind consumers that they’re more than just a score.
“Concentrate on your credit health. This means making positive credit decisions such as paying bills on time, managing your credit cards wisely and not applying for unnecessary loans,” he said.
He also advised consumers to take advantage of their right to check their credit reports for free every 12 months at www.annualcreditreport.com.
“If you do these things, your credit scores will improve and stay high regardless of the model used to calculate the score,” he concluded.