How frequently do you check your credit score

Submitted by Mary on Thu, 07/13/2006 - 09:53

FICO score - A complete overview

The term FICO is the short form of Fair Isaac Corporation, who built up the empirical model for credit score calculation. Hence the term FICO got coupled with the score they invented. FICO score is the most popular among all that prevail in the market. The credit system of the country is widely dependent on this model. This is a tool used by creditors to determine the creditworthiness of the consumers. So if one wishes to acquire more credit, it becomes mandatory to understand the system FICO uses, in details.

Three major credit bureaus of the country, namely Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, offer FICO scores, wrapped in their own trade names with hierarchy of versions. For example, Equifax offers Beacon, Beacon 96 and Pinnacle. Empirica, Empirica Auto 95, Precision Score and Precision 03 are calculated by TransUnion. And with Experian, we call it Fair Isaac Risk Score.

These versions are changed and updated according to the market trends. However, few creditors and lenders sometimes prefer using the older version, which they think to be most accurate.

The variables used in your FICO Score calculation

It is needless to say that the exact formulae behind the credit score calculation is a trade secret. However, Fair Isaac has revealed few factors that play significant role in the calculation -

Factor Dependance
Payment history 35%
Debt amount 30%
Life of credit history 15%
Type of credit 10%
Recent shopping for credit 10%

If above points are split, millions of other factors would become visible. Say for example, the word, payment history says nothing if the consumer passed through a judgment or filed bankruptcy. Payment history merely means how much punctual an individual is when it comes to paying their bills. But events like judgment, bankruptcy and foreclosure push credit score down the slope. Similarly, numerous credit card accounts might restrict score from going up. Also the term type of credit is not sufficient to describe the saturated credit mix.

Computing FICO score is a statistical method because statistical reports are more believable than speculative data. The FICO scoring system compare all the above information with different pre-experienced results and the score is awarded at last. These are something that requires extensive research and skill. Interact with the community to inspect more on FICO.

Fair Isaac has developed scoring model for United States, Canada and South Africa. However, there is another version "Global FICO"? made for many other countries. A new system, which is going to offer a new score, known as VantageScore, has thrown a challenge to FICO. The old adage "The only constant in the universe is change" is true for everything, however, which one would stand the thrust of time is still a question.

I do not check my credit score frequently except when am palnning to shop for new credit. I generally check it on a quarterly basis.


Mon, 07/17/2006 - 08:56 Permalink
TexasGuy (not verified)

I tend to do it on a half yearly basis. Its just a wastage of money to me.

Wed, 07/19/2006 - 10:31 Permalink
TexasGuy (not verified)

Hey Mary, where to cast my vote?? :?

Thu, 07/20/2006 - 04:44 Permalink

Hi TexasGuy,

To cast your vote you need to join the credit magic community and login using your username and password. Once you login and try to reply to this topic you will get the 'Poll' option just before 'Subject' field.

To be a registered user click here Sign up is free .. moreover you get the opportunity to actively participate like us :D .


Thu, 07/20/2006 - 04:59 Permalink

Hey Mary,

I am now a part of this community :) And what else ... I can now cast my vote too :D

Thu, 07/20/2006 - 17:47 Permalink

Hi TexasGuy,

Welcome to our community. We are here to help each other build up healthy credit for a better tomorrow. We are eager to see you as an active contributor as well. Enjoy your stay and please let us know if we can help you anytime.

BTW I avail the Equifax Credit Watch Silver (costs around $49.95 pa) which enables me to monitor any changes in my credit report. I prefer to check my FICO scores on a Quarterly basis.


Thu, 07/20/2006 - 19:38 Permalink

TexasGuy, good to see you as a part of our community. Enjoy your stay :D and let us know if you need any support.

Fri, 07/21/2006 - 07:43 Permalink

I get my score every month but I print out my report every 3-4 months

Tue, 02/27/2007 - 08:23 Permalink

I think FICO should be checked twice a year as a base for purchase planning. If a large purchase ie mortgage is being planned then purchasing on a quarterly or even monthly may be needed to be considered. During the repair process it helps to chart the progress to purchase more than once a year.

Fri, 03/02/2007 - 08:40 Permalink

I agree with you on this point. Atleast twice a year should be the target. It should be done quarterly when we are actually on a repair program.

Wed, 12/26/2007 - 04:57 Permalink

I do mine yearly, when I can get a free copy from each of the 3 cra's, I figure this would be enough time to get results from the year past. I usually do it at the beginning quarter of the year, round march or so.

Sun, 12/30/2007 - 15:31 Permalink

Yes we can check it several times online. That does not affect our scores.

Mon, 12/31/2007 - 09:49 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I try to check every half year. If I know I am going to be doing something involving my credit I will start checking it more regularly.

Sun, 01/06/2008 - 02:26 Permalink

I try to check every half year. If I know I am going to be doing something involving my credit I will start checking it more regularly.

Sun, 01/06/2008 - 02:52 Permalink

That is a great approach. Similar to mine.

Mon, 01/07/2008 - 10:45 Permalink

Scores do not change on a 90 day cycle...updated or removed information can have a drastic and immediate affect on the score.

Sun, 03/02/2008 - 08:36 Permalink

I don't check it very often.....twice a year, I think. I should check it more. Is there a seperate FICO score, for ALL 3 CB's? The whole 'FICO score thing' confuses me.

Sun, 03/02/2008 - 16:23 Permalink

I think it depends on situation more than anything, if your tring to get your credit stright to buy somthing, you gotta pull it more to make sure evey bad thing is dropping, if your just wanting to make sure everything is on a even kill, less is ok.

Wed, 04/23/2008 - 20:44 Permalink

Very true or if you have good credit people may not check more than once or twice a year just to make sure everything is ok.

Wed, 04/23/2008 - 20:51 Permalink

Your report is more important if you are trying to clean your credit history. The score becomes a necessity if you wish to make a purchase or if you really need to know the score to find out how much you require to get back to normal.

The scores of the three bureaus differ but getting panicky wont help. Know the reasons from the reports and then work accordingly. All your creditors do not report to all the three bureaus and neither do these bureaus work mutually. SO its your call how you deal with the situation.

Fri, 04/25/2008 - 06:13 Permalink

I think it is good to check regardless all three. Until I started understanding credit and how it worked I had always wondered why places checked two different credit agencies. I understand this now knowing that everyone doesn't report to all the agencies.

Sun, 04/27/2008 - 01:52 Permalink

Yes Fireyone,

I learned from experience. Initially I got confused but slowly with the understanding of the industry and the process (mainly from creditmagic) I learned a lot and applied my knowledge in real. May be thats why my report is clean today. :)

Mon, 04/28/2008 - 06:51 Permalink

I am glad to hear more people are checking their credit these days. Use to be when you heard about id fraud it was always somewhere far from it has creeped up to our own doorsteps.

Mon, 05/05/2008 - 22:11 Permalink


Can you share the service with the forum that helps you to keep an eye on your FICO scores quite often?

Thu, 05/08/2008 - 04:54 Permalink

I think that one should always check the FICO scores quite often, if possible every month to have the latest updates.

Thu, 05/08/2008 - 07:26 Permalink

Sure, I pay 10 a month and I get a monthly report on my FICO score. Anytime someone looks at my credit I get an alert via email. Heaven forbid someone should try and steal my idenity I would know before the damage was done. SInce they would alert me to the credit inquiry, I could shoot down the loan/ credit card theft before the ink could dry on the phony application. I can also view my report when I want. I use it has really been a God send in this credit repair process. Also, b/c they work with the credit Bureaus there is no hard inquiry on your CR to lower your score.

Mon, 05/12/2008 - 21:02 Permalink

Credit report can be checked any number of times in a year. But under the FCRA, the US people are entitled to get only one free report each year. If you want to check the report more than once, you need to pay for it. I too think is that unless and until any negative information is reported the credit report hardly changes during the year and so there is no point in checking it again and again.

Tue, 05/13/2008 - 10:17 Permalink

What I feel is that, since one report is free from each of the credit reporting agencies in a year, we can ask one credit report every four months from one of them. In this way we can get the updated report timely at no cost and can also keep track of the report.

Sat, 06/21/2008 - 10:09 Permalink

What do you think this is free advertising? You are tripple posting and this is annoying. If you are looking for business this isn't going to get it. It is like going to a car lot and having a sales person tagging your every move. I usually leave. hint.

Sun, 07/27/2008 - 01:00 Permalink

I don't think they will be back, the curious thing is that it is a registered member and richard or someone on staff has not commented on it yet, they usually catch these things really quick.

Mon, 07/28/2008 - 02:28 Permalink

I seen that the member has actually commented some pretty sensible things before this. Wonder if it was a few moments of insanity.

Mon, 07/28/2008 - 14:42 Permalink

Oh, they will catch it sooner or later. As often as we all post here they have a lot of reading to do!

Wed, 07/30/2008 - 20:46 Permalink