by Brian Wolfman
The major consumer credit scoring company, FICO, devised a model (first constructed in 1989) that produces what is known as a credit score. So, almost any consumer with any sort of credit history has what is known of as a FICO score. The basic FICO score ranges from 300 (very very bad) to 850 (very very good), with the median score generally in the low 700s. The three major credit reporting agencies — Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian — use the FICO score to rate the credit worthiness of consumers. Go here to learn a bit about the component parts of the FICO score and how the score can affect a person's ability to obtain credit (and the price of credit).
This article by Lew Sichelman explains that it can be difficult for a consumer to learn why her FICO score is what it is — and, therefore, how to improve it. Sichelman goes on to describe a website called reasoncode.org, which makes it easier for consumers to get that information. reasoncode.org is a project of VantageScore, a FICO competitor.