Jul 19, 2007

FICO is a name for your credit score, developed by Fair Issac & Company. This is a method of determining the likelihood that credit users will pay their bills. They consider factors such as late payments, the amount of time credit has been established, the amount of credit used versus the amount available, length of time at present residence, and negative credit information such as bankruptcies, charge-offs, collections, etc. There are ways to increase your score (to follow), but first you need to get your hands on your credit report and check for errors. Georgia residents are entitled two free annual credit reports from each of the following credit reporting agencies:

Equifax, P.O Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374, (800) 685-1111

Experian, PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013, (888) 397-3742

TransUnion, PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022, (800) 888-4213

You may request your free report online at http://www.annualcreditreport.com/,
by phone, at 1-877-322-8228, or send a written request to each of the above agencies.