Law School Discussion

FICO Score Interpretation?

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FICO Score Interpretation?
« on: January 08, 2007, 12:58:17 PM »
Anyone know or have any good resources on interpreting your FICO score?

What score would be needed to make a private loan preferable to:

a) subsidized stafford (if that is possible)
b) unsubsized stafford
c) Grad PLUS loan

Should I list any other options? I'm not a homeowner (if that matters).

jd2bee

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Re: FICO Score Interpretation?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2007, 01:33:24 PM »
Staffords don't involve credit checks.  You're offered them regardless of credit history.  I know most of the private loans are dependent upon credit, but I don't know the score info.

"V"

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Re: FICO Score Interpretation?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2007, 02:16:30 PM »
It's ridiculous that people aren't able to see their FICO scores without cost.

parsley

Re: FICO Score Interpretation?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2007, 02:17:58 PM »
 Former Worker Alleges Bias
Use of credit scores in employment decisions draws fire in lawsuit
Published On Friday, January 05, 2007  1:14 AM
By LAWRENCE R. VALVERDE
Contributing Writer

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Several months after a black temporary employee in Harvard’s alumni office charged that the University was discriminating against minorities by using credit scores as a criterion for employment, the case is at a standstill and has yet to be resolved, according to the employee’s lawyer.

Lisa Bailey, who had worked as a temporary employee for five months, charged that she was denied a full-time position because of her bad credit record. Although the full-time job had nearly the same responsibilities as her current temporary position—which involved handling alumni donation checks—Harvard did not consult her credit record until she applied for the full-time position, according to her lawyer, Piper Hoffman.

But, Hoffman, a partner with the New York-based firm Outten & Golden, said there is more at stake in this case than the denial of Bailey for a full time position. Hoffman filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claiming that the use of credit scores to determine employment eligibility is discriminatory against minorities because minorities are more likely to have credit problems.

Long used as a barometer for fiscal responsibility, credit scores are traditionally used to determine eligibility for loans or insurance policies. But as employees like Lisa Bailey are finding out, employers are also beginning to consult credit scores in employment decisions to determine whether candidates are responsible or reliable workers.

While Harvard’s decision to check Bailey’s credit score may not have been intentionally discriminatory, Hoffman said the decision could fall under the category of antidiscrimination laws prohibiting discrimination that has “a disparate impact” on minorities.

Harvard spokesman Joe Wrinn said that while he couldn’t comment on a specific case because of privacy concerns, the University checks credit histories before hiring employees who would have “access to sensitive financial information or involvement in significant financial transactions.”

Hoffman said that there is little for employers to benefit from checking credit records, explaining that there are many unavoidable crises—such as a family illness—which can adversely effect the credit record of otherwise responsible people.

But Wrinn said Harvard job applicants with poor credit rating are “given an opportunity to present mitigating circumstances and to make corrections prior to a final decision.”

The EEOC is still determining whether using credit histories as a criterion for employment in fact an illegal form of discrimination.

EEOC spokesman Christine Nazer said that the EEOC is prohibited from releasing information about a charge unless it results in a lawsuit, a measure that she said is “usually a last resort.”

smack

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Re: FICO Score Interpretation?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2007, 10:22:35 AM »
Federal Law entitles everyone to a free credit report once per year.  Get yours at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

smack

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Re: FICO Score Interpretation?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2007, 10:51:50 AM »
Federal Law entitles everyone to a free credit report once per year.  Get yours at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

OK, so I just got my free credit report and there is no score, just a list of my accounts and their status.  There is a link where you can get your score for $5.95, but its called an "Experian Vantage Score" and the scale is from 501-990.  I think I wasted $5.95!

wolfpack2

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Re: FICO Score Interpretation?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2007, 07:50:45 PM »

My gut instinct -- if closing that card is better for your peace of mind and will prevent you from charging more, you did the right thing. 

I ended up closing my Target card when they upped me to a Visa with 1000 dollars. They were like "We're giving you increased spending power!!" Let me tell you, the last thing I need is increased spending power.  So I figured it would hurt my credit MORE if I kept the card because I just might use it.  If you don't think you'll ever use it it can be beneficial to keep old cards.

Credit is such a tricky thing. I wish it were easier.  I also think its lame to have to pay for your score. :/