What exactly factors into your credit report? Word of the Fair Credit Reporting Act spread pretty quickly that you could and should get a free credit report each year, and that you could actually get more than one per year if you stagger them across the three nationwide biggies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).
BusinessWeek outlines the Anatomy of a Credit Score, and CNNMoney provides some tips on improving credit scores, but (I'm a bullet point girl) I found what I was looking for at MyFico.com, which makes sense, since the site is a division of Fair Isaac Corp, who created the FICO credit formula.
So, I still don't know the specifics of the formula, or my FICO number, but today I learned that:
- the ratio between your balance and your credit limit is an important number, not necessarily having a high credit limit;
- inquiries about loans show up on your credit report and too many in a short period of time can negatively influence the score;
- one should avoid new credit applications for about 18 months before purchasing something big like a car that requires a loan (your rate is affected); and
- I don't like being the money person in my household, and neither does my husband. But I knew that already.