Understanding The Credit Score Range

The highest credit score you can obtain depends on which score you are looking to find. There are two different credit scores, although not everyone is aware of this fact. The first is the one everyone knows about, but does not know the name.

This is the Vantage Score, given out by the three different credit bureaus. This score is the one everyone relies on (personally) and can be as high as 990. The other one is the FICO score, which can be as high as 850.

FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation, which is where this score was derived. The FICO score is used to determine percentages on mortgages and large purchases. The better this score, the better interest rate you get on buying your house, car, boat, or anything that requires years to pay off.

This score is determined differently from the credit bureau score. The Vantage Score is reported by each credit bureau. Since each bureau has different information on each individual, this score can be several points different from bureau to bureau. This score determines your credit card, employment, and even rental worthiness. The highest scores, whether it be FICO or Vantage Score, is almost impossible to obtain.

Anything on your credit report will change this score dramatically such as, late payments, too much credit, too little credit, high payments, low payments, and of course bankruptcy, can fluctuate your credit score, possibly up to 100 points at a time. Some analysts say that you need to make payments way before they are due, more than they ask for, and never pay off your balance each month. Paying off your balance each month can actually hurt your score. You can track your credit score by obtaining a credit report, however this will also cause point subtraction on your credit report, by all three bureaus.

Obtaining your credit report can cause as much as a 50 point decrease in your score. Maintaining a good credit score also means you need to monitor your credit. Being careful when you ask for a report and understanding how reports work can help you keep your score as high as possible. You usually have to pay for a credit report, if you just want to obtain one today, however you are entitled to one free every 12 months from each credit bureau.

If you are ever turned down for credit, you are also entitled to a free credit report to see what was reported to the requesting company.