It's important not to let wrong information guide your credit decisions and behavior.
A FICO® Score Determines Whether or Not I Get Credit
FALSE. Lenders decide to extend credit based on your income, your employment history, your credit history and the amount of debt you can handle. They'll also look at your FICO® Scores and the type of loan you're applying for. They'll analyze this information, factor in their specific underwriting policies, and extend credit to you even if you have a low FICO® Score. Or they may decline your credit request even if you have a high FICO® Score.
A FICO® Score will Haunt Me Forever
FALSE. Just the opposite is true. FICO® Scores point to a consumer's risk at a particular time. Your FICO® Scores change as new information is added to your credit report and as historical information ages. Your FICO® Scores change gradually as you change the way you handle credit. For example, past credit problems impact your FICO® Scores less as time passes. To have the most recent information available, lenders request a current FICO® Score when you apply for credit.
A FICO® Score Will Drop if I Apply for New Credit
FALSE. If it does, it won't drop much. If you apply for several credit cards within a short period, more inquires (requests for your credit report information) will show up on your report. Looking for new credit can indicate higher risk to a lender. However, your FICO® Scores are not affected by inquiries from multiple auto, mortgage or student loan lenders within a short period of time. These inquiries tend to have little impact on your FICO® Scores and are treated as a single inquiry.
Credit Scoring Is Unfair to Minorities
FALSE. FICO® Scores consider only credit-related information. Factors like gender, race, nationality and marital status are not included. In fact, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) doesn't let lenders consider this information when issuing credit. FICO® Scores have proven to be an accurate and consistent measure of repayment risk for all people who have some credit history.
Credit Scoring Infringes on My Privacy
FALSE. FICO® Scores evaluate credit reports -- the same information lenders use. A FICO® Score is a number that summarizes your credit risk. This risk is based on a snapshot of your credit report information. Lenders using FICO® Scores may ask for less information, thereby having fewer questions on the application form.