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What is the Experian PLUS Score?
Posted on June 1, 2011
The PLUS Score may be an unfamiliar term for many consumers but it can be an integral part of repairing your credit and improving your knowledge as to how make your credit work for you. Experian, the consumer credit reporting agency, created the PLUS Score as a way to help consumers better understand how to manage and repair their credit scores.
The PLUS Score is consumer-friendly credit score that was created by Experian to help consumers understand what is having an impact on their present credit score. It PLUS model also provides detailed information about what consumers need to do in order to see their credit scores increase.
How PLUS Score Works
The PLUS Score is calculated from the data on an Experian credit report. The calculation is relative to the methods utilized by lenders when making credit decisions. The PLUS Score ranges from 330 to 830. Much like a traditional credit score, the higher a consumer PLUS Score is, the less of a credit risk they pose to lenders. While most creditors will pull a consumer’s FICO score when making decisions, the PLUS score can be used by consumers to get a better education about what credit repair tasks are necessary.
Featured in the calculations of the PLUS Score are the elements of a credit report including the payment history data, the amount of debt being utilized, new applications for credit, and credit check inquiries. A consumer can check their PLUS score for a small fee and understand where they need to place focus to improving their FICO score. Low PLUS scores will show consumers they are in need of help and the report also provides what consumers need to do to get that help.
Different Lenders, Different Rules
Depending on the type of credit you are seeking or what your financing needs are, you will need to be creditworthy. However, different lenders have different views on what is considered worthy enough. The rule of thumb for proceeding with an application for financing or credit is to first check in with your FICO score to see where you stand.
After you know what your credit profile looks like and what the lender will see, you can speak directly with the lender to determine if you are worthy under their guidelines. Many lenders are flexible when it comes to specific case-by-case situations, especially smaller businesses like credit unions. Lending regulations are much stricter than they were in the past but again, since each lender has it’s own protocol for qualifying new customers, it is worth it for consumers to do their due diligence prior to filing an application.
Discuss with your potential lender/creditor any financial issues you have had in the past that caused your credit score to take a dive including job loss, high medical bills, or other life-altering events. While not all lenders will be as flexible with their decisions on your credit-riskiness, many are more willing to help borrowers get what they need, even if they charge a higher amount in financing to do so.
Improving your credit is always a good option no matter where your score stands, especially if you plan to seek new credit or loans. Check with lenders prior to your application submission and find the right lender for your specific credit situation.
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