Credit Education

Understanding Your FICO Score

Knowing your FICO® Score is empowering, helping you understand your financial health, just like your blood pressure or heart rate. And since we have access to this information, we think you should, too.

Having a great FICO® Score is a worthwhile goal. Landlords look at credit scores when deciding who to rent to and how much of a deposit they may require. Cell phone companies and utility companies use credit scores to decide if they need security deposits and which payment plan you may be eligible. Financial institutions (including us!) use FICO® Scores, along with other information, to determine whether members are qualified for credit cards, loans and mortgages, how much to lend, and what rate to offer you.


The higher your FICO® Score, often, the lower your rate. That's because we know you're low risk – you're going to pay your loan back on time.

The first step to helping you understand and stay on top of your FICO® Score? Seeing it!. Going forward,  your FICO® Score is displayed in your online banking (Don't see it yet? Not to worry – it's coming!) Just log in and look for the FICO® Score logo on the right hand side of the page.

FICO

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The Good News

The mention of credit scores makes many people nervous, and for good reason. It can feel like you're being graded on a test you didn't know you were taking. But rest assured, it's not just about your score.


First, there are other important measurements of financial health, and here at BECU, we're happy to sit down with you and work with you on a more holistic picture.


Second, FICO® Scores can and do change. FICO® Scores are based on a snapshot of your credit report at a given point in time, which means you have the power to understand and  learn what credit behaviors impact them. All that matters is where you are and where you're going, not where you used to be.

Understanding Your FICO

Once you understand the equation behind FICO® Scores, they're not mysterious at all. So let's break them down and then get to some resources that can help.

A FICO® Score is a snapshot of your credit worthiness, or your credit risk, at a certain point in time. BECU uses the FICO® Score based on your credit file at TransUnion, and we'll be updating your FICO® Score on a monthly basis if it's available.


  • 35% Payment History
  • 30% Outstanding Debt 
  • 15% Credit History Length 
  • 10% Pursuit of New Credit 
  • 10% Credit Mix
FICO Pie Chart

The most important factors are payment history and debt. Do you pay your credit cards and loans on time each month? Do you pay more than the minimum amount? Great – you're on your way to reducing debt and being a credit rock star, and you will appear less risky to lenders.

Read more answers to commonly asked questions here

Learning More About Your FICO® Score

We have a number of resources to help you learn even more about credit. 

  1. Check out the FICO® Score FAQs 
  2. Read an in-depth guide to Understanding FICO® Scores 
  3. Come into a branch and talk to a member consultant

FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.