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All About Credit Scores
Your Guide to Credit Scores and FICO® Score

What's a Credit Score?

Simply stated, a credit score is a number calculated on a mathematical formula (or 'algorithm') that predicts how likely you are to pay back a loan, vs. being delinquent or even filing for bankruptcy. This number basically summarizes your credit history against millions of others, and "scores" it.

Your credit score is used by banks, credit card companies and other lenders to help determine if you qualify for a loan, at what interest rate, and what credit limits, especially for an unsecured loan (a loan not backed by tangible assets or collateral). The higher the score, the better chance you'll have of being approved for a loan, especially a private student loan.

What's a FICO® Score?

FICO is an acronym that stands for Fair Isaacs Co., a company that offers its credit scoring system via through Equifax. The other credit bureaus may use the FICO "brand" in their own algorithms, but their scores can be different than the FICO. All 3 bureaus are well-recognized, so lenders (and you) can rely on the scores from them.

The important thing is that you need a good credit score to qualify for most forms of credit.

The FICO score takes into account various factors in each of these five areas:



Payment history



 Current level of indebtedness (“debt-to-credit ratio”)



Types of credit used



Length of credit history



New credit


Where Do Credit Scores Come From?

There are three major credit reporting agencies, also known as credit bureaus, that provide credit scores: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.


The Pervasive Impact of Credit on Your Life and Ours

Have you ever wondered how much your credit history is used in our lives? Think about all the credit-based tools available to us throughout all phases of our lives: credit cards, mortgages, car loans, and of course, private student loans.

But did you know it also could have an impact on whether you get hired or not, getting a loan to start your own business, joining the armed forces or obtaining a professional license?

Or that a poor credit score could cost you more in higher rents, higher insurance rates?

To build and maintain a positive credit score, we encourage you to always, always, always (get our drift?) pay back your loans on time!

What's a Good Credit Score? A Bad Credit Score?

The FICO score ranges from 300 to 850, where 300 is dreadful and 850 is top of the line. Most people tend to score in the 600s-700s. However, most college students don't have a sufficiently long credit history or high-enough income to generate a high credit score. As for what a good score is vs a bad one, there are no hard-and-fast rules; it depends on the lender and type of loan desired.

However, as a rule of thumb to qualify for a private loan, a score of 660 is usually the minimum.

What's Your Credit Score?
Click below to see what range your falls in.

Click here to find out your credit score!

Don't have a score of 660 or higher? You may still qualify for a private education loan through OneSimpleLoan with a co-signer!


What's Your Credit Score? Click below to find out!

Free FICO® Credit Score Estimator

Do You Qualify as a Co-Signer? If your score is below 660, who else can you recommend?