myFICO Credit Testimonials

All too often people keep their personal financial struggles to themselves. But everyone experiences issues – from minor speed bumps to monumental road blocks – and it's important to remember you do not have to be alone in this journey!

If you're feeling inspired, or want to help inspire someone else in the same situation, you can tell us your story.

"I used to pay for a service from another company which showed my score as good, but lower due to student loans. However, I found that the formula this other company used was not a true FICO score and was different from how lenders and other agencies actually saw me. I got the service from myFICO and was so pleased with the product! Not only do I know my real FICO score, but I get a detailed report of how lenders see me. It makes keeping track of habits much easier and really helps me to understand the full picture of my credit score."

Sewell, NJ

"I was just curious about my credit reports, and ordered them from myFICO. To my surprise, one showed that the state of California incorrectly had me in collections for unpaid taxes. I called the reporting agency and was told what info I would need to correct this. Called the state of CA (and this did take a couple of tries) and found someone who thought that, indeed, I could not have gotten a refund that year and also owe back taxes, gave me a case number and corrected their records. Called the reporting agency back with the number, and done. All in one afternoon."

Moab, UT

"I had a brain aneurysm December 2007. This was followed by the onset of water on the brain (hydrocephalus). My wife was an at home mom working on her masters degree. I had been the one handling the bills and finances. For seven weeks I was more or less unconscious. My wife was faced with a number of difficult choices; refinancing the mortgage to access some equity and pay off some credit card debt was the course she chose. She was able to quickly get the approval for the new mortgage because we had a very good, 775, FICO score. We had also kept our debt to a reasonable level and we had a cash reserve. You never know when a life changing event might occur. Keeping a manageable mortgage and debt load can mean the difference between weathering a setback or being undone by it."

Toms River, NJ

"When I was in my early 20s, I purchased my first car with my very own credit and funds. I was extremely excited to say the least, and drove the car everywhere, running up mileage, burning tons of fuel and spending my paychecks like there's no tomorrow. When my car notes arrived, I would only pay a portion every month, thinking that it wouldn't matter since the bank receives payment from me on a regular basis. Besides, I wouldn't have enough to cover the entire amount because of my irresponsible spending habits. Before long, I was behind a couple of months and my car was repossessed. I was able to reclaim my car somehow, but my credit was already damaged. I eventually got into an accident and my car was totaled. No banks would offer me a car loan for a long time. I had to take public transportation and ask for a ride from people - total inconvenience. It was an extremely hard lesson to learn, but it was a very good lesson nonetheless. It taught me to take care of my financial obligations from that point forward."

Antioch, CA

"It's very rewarding when you go in for a loan and they look at you in disbelief when your score is 786. They look at you in a totally different way when you have good scores. This is something that you work on from the day that you first start your credit. As early as your teens."

Turnerville, GA

"I checked my FICO score before shop for a new car. When I found the right car and the good price to buy, I was laughing at the auto dealer's Finance Manager when he tried to finance my car loan at a high interest. I knew that with my good FICO score I can find many banks that would love to give me loan with so much lower interest than the dealer..... and I did!"

West Covina, CA

"I was taught many years ago in High School the importance of having good credit, and was told horror stories of people who couldn't control their spending habits. Ever since establishing my first credit by purchasing a suit jacket for my senior pictures, I have always paid my credit cards off in full- every month. For thirty four years straight. I may not be a favored credit holder for the card company, (they Like people who run a balance, I refuse) but I use my credit to my advantage. I also use rewards card and get the cash as this seems to be the best use of rewards points for me. I have maintained at least an 800 credit average for my entire adult life. I often will pay off my credit bills slightly more then I owe, I was able to refinance my mortgage to lower rates twice, because our credit was so good, we got VIP treatment. I am even able to negotiate a better purchase price for a new Auto as our credit is in the highest tier, we make a deal to purchase a car using credit, the dealership often will knock off a few hundred dollars on the overall price of a car to have someone finance it, then after driving it for a month, or so, I will bring in a cashier's check from my bank and pay it off in full, this way I received interest on the amount in the bank, didn't pay any financing for a month, and got a better deal. Bottom line, make the credit companies work for you. Use your good credit to your advantage. I can travel anywhere in the world on my good credit, and I have. My advice, especially to young people is to build and maintain good credit, protect it, ad if used correctly it will provide you with a better lifestyle."

Spring Valley, CA

"When I was married, my husband had an "entitlement" attitude. Although we made less money than his family and friends, he felt we deserved to live their lifestyle, including dining out, vacations, etc. I, on the other hand, had been raised to buy what you can afford, and pay bills on time. He used to use my credit cards to finance his lifestyle. Ultimately, we were in so much debt that I could not bring myself to go to the mailbox and take in the mail. Every item in it was a bill, a second notice, a final notice, a letter from a collection agency. At one point, I didn't have enough cash – or credit – to go to the grocery store and buy a gallon of milk for my children and had to borrow the money. The stress level was unbelievable, and I filed for divorce. I "bought him out" of the house with a loan from a family member – since repaid – (my "ex" needed the money to pay debt he'd amassed after moving out), gradually paid down any debt assigned to me in the divorce settlement, and over time rebuilt my credit by paying ON TIME, even if it was only the minimum amount due. Eventually, I was able to pay more and I did so. Since then, I have bought myself a small home, have money in the bank, zero credit card debt, and enjoy the sense of peace that comes from living within my means. I shop...I travel...but it's all about personal responsibility and that's what I've taught my children. I rebuilt my credit in less than 3 years' time, and have a FICO score of 817. My ex-husband has filed for bankruptcy once and is headed toward the same outcome again. I would not trade my peace of mind, knowing that even if I were to lose my job, I have a financial cushion to land on...for ANY piece of jewelry, dinner out, or vacation. Baby steps...even in the worst financial situation, you have the ability to turn it all around. I promise."

Schaumburg, IL

"Two words come to mind, trust and relationships. These words should live together, right? Not always is unfortunately the answer. TV watchers have seen a young rock band sell the services of credit services where the young lady (not young Suze) has bad credit, and now he does when they marry. He trusted the relationship. I was burned like that too. I wanted to be a "NICE" person and show my love of her, not just money. Do not let anyone play the "guilt card" on you. Life is time, time is money, what is the syllogism (all together now) Life spent earning money = Life is money. Yea, people first in the right circumstances, not when you’re being suckered. You want simple testimonials for simple people, go somewhere else. Take charge of your own credit. I've been in chapter 7, not nice. I'm at 750 + on all scores now. I use myFICO and a credit watch agency. Check at least quarterly to see where you’re at. One last point, a common name like mine is easy to mix with others of the same name."

Santa Rosa, CA

"Well, first I must say I coined a new word: "FICOpath." That was my reaction when I first requested my FICO scores, about 7 years ago. I couldn't believe how many horribly bad things were on it that didn't have anything to do with me. I also couldn't believe how difficult and time-consuming it was to get the "Big Three" to make corrections. Two of them eventually did. One didn't, and I'm still haunted by their (bogus) lower score. Filed bankruptcy in 2000 due to town taxes suddenly going through the roof. Not expected, and I wasn't prepared. That is now the only negative on my legitimate credit reports, and it drops off in just another few months. I learned my lesson: no more FICOpaths. I haven't had any negative reports since 2000. Just the bankruptcy. Two weeks ago, I bought a beautiful 1,900 square foot 1741 Colonial in Litchfield County, CT, on 3/4 acre for peanuts at a 5.5% fixed rate. Next day, I qualified for "Tier One" credit on a new car. Ironically, that rate is even lower: 3.9%. Moral: There is life after bankruptcy. Be smart. Don't make the same mistakes. Check your FICO reports and correct them, if necessary. And, for me, pay off the mortgage (highest interest) first!"

Gaylordsville, CT

"While in college, we lived well beyond our means. Credit was very easy to obtain while I was a student in a professional graduate program. Temptation made purchases difficult to pass up and it was way too convenient to "pay for it when I'll be making plenty of money." I've spent the past ten years paying off debt that was primarily incurred while in college. I'm very fortunate that I do earn a good salary and can pay for the stupid mistakes of the past; but I do wish I had lived modestly back then so I could better enjoy my hard earned money now!"

Birmingham, AL

"Never give up. After going bankrupt, which included our mortgage of $408,000 we were able to refinance our home after it had gone to auction 5 days before foreclosure proceedings were to begin. We were able to get a new first mortgage for $219,000 on a home valued at $325,000. This was due to our persistence. We still had decent credit, we were the "exception to the rule", we had invested in a restaurant and lost pretty much everything except our jobs but we did not just give up and roll over. You have to fight, do not give up, call every bank you can find, you can do this if you want it bad enough."

Bloomfield Hills, MI

"I can't emphasize enough the importance of paying bills on time and tracking your FICO score, it is crucial to current market conditions. I am a semi-retired woman who purchased a home in a depressed California market in January 2009. Due to a FICO score above 760, the mortgage lender gave me an immediate paperless loan and it closed escrow in 30 days. Yes, other factors were considered, but the prevailing emphasis for this story is to always document payments, keep credit amounts low, do not open new accounts frivolously, and do not charge anything over $25.I think that credit education should be 101 in classes beginning in the 8th grade in every school."

Aliso Viejo, CA

"I can vouch for the fact that having good credit can open doors and allow you to live a better life. My father always said that it was important to have good credit and never spend more money than you have. In 1999 I became a single mom of a 2 1/2 year old daughter with approximately $25,000 of credit card debt due to my divorce. Thankfully, I had a good credit history. I was able to land a great job (one that did a full background check), paid off my debt in a year and a half, and bought my first home. I have continued to save and build a nice life for my now 12 year old daughter and I. Without good credit, the great life I now have would never have been possible!"

Sarasota, FL

"I'm afraid my story is going to be a boring one. My husband and I are in our sixties, so we were well into adulthood before we even had credit cards. We always used them wisely, rarely kept balances on them and if we did, we often moved that balance to a zero interest card and paid it off in a short time. Our three credit scores are over 800 each for both of us. Today we use them for certain purchases; or to order some small item online and we always pay off our balances. We are retired; when we sold our home (which was all paid up mortgage-wise) "up north' we moved to a warmer climate using part of the proceeds to purchase land and build a beautiful home, with money left over – so we have no mortgage either. We drive a 12 yr old Honda CRV (in great shape) so we have no car payment. As I started out: boring story; but still a lesson to be learned. We never charged anything we knew we couldn't afford – and that takes discipline, but also feels good knowing we are debt free."

Beverly Hills, FL

"I started accumulating credit card debt 14 years ago as a divorced, single mother who for reasons of guilt, insecurity and ignorance, felt I needed to indulge my children and live above my means. Approximately 15 credit cards later and $110,000 worth of debt, reality hit when several credit card companies raised my interest rates from around 7% to 29.9%, even though I had never been late or missed a payment. I was already scraping by making minimum payments and there was now no way I could ever dig myself out. I took the bull by the horns and did what I had to do. I renovated and staged my home, put it on the market and sold it in one week at list price, just before the Miami real estate market crashed. I am now living in a state with a lower cost of living, have no mortgage and absolutely no debt. My credit score was 490 and is now 813! It wasn't easy leaving my home, friends and family to start over but I now sleep at night and it was definitely worth it!"

Raleigh, NC

"Several years ago my business took a turn for the worse and I did the worst thing possible by using credit cards and an equity line to meet employee payroll and expenses. Without the income, I used most of my savings for the mortgage, groceries and car payments. It was not too long before the credit cards and equity line were maxed out and then, were not being paid timely. Then the equity line went into default and a foreclosure suit was filed. I visited a credit counseling service and realized that I could do what they could for me – call my creditors and work out deferrals and payment plans. My wife went back to work and I cut expenses and worked harder and smarter at my business. It took two years to pay off the equity line and another year to pay off the credit cards. Last year we paid off our car loan. We keep a clear glass jar on our mantel filled with all of our cut up credit cards with the saying etched on it "money is no longer the root of all evil – credit having taken its place". We will never have another credit card or car payment and we are working diligently to pay off our mortgage. My credit score is slowly rising, however, I hope to need it only sparing in the future."

Columbus, OH

"Bad decisions when I was young, no sense of "when I could afford it, not when I want it," and the next thing I knew I was $14K in credit card debt. I struggled for years to pay it off, finally turning to a credit counseling service to help me (not debt consolidation – actual credit counseling at no charge). They helped me build a budget, made contact with the credit card companies, and worked with me to understand just how much extra I was paying because of the interest. Initially I paid the minimum amount set up for me, and then I got a small raise and put that toward the card with the smallest balance. Before I knew it I had paid it off. I put that amount toward the next one, and soon it was gone. And so on. I paid the full debt off more than three years early. While working on this, I also began tracking my credit scores. I was horrified initially to discover my scores were in the mid-500s. I found a few mistakes which increased my score slightly. I also found a charge off on a bill that I thought I had paid six years before. I contacted the company, discovered I had not (it occurred during a move to another state), and paid that bill of $33. Within a month my credit score went up 75 points because of that one thing being resolved! As I paid off more and more balances, my scores kept going up. By the time I made my last payment my credit scores were around 775. Within a year after full payoff, I am thrilled to say that I have no credit card debt and have a credit score of 806!!!! I am so proud of myself, and only regret waiting as long as I did to take action."

Tupelo, MS

"I highly recommend using the services of non-profit credit counseling to get payment amounts and interest rates under control. I had high balances but was on time for my payments, but was making no headway due to the high interest rates. They took me on and set up payment plans to get those interest rates down and have it paid off in 58 months. Best thing I have ever done. I am also forcing myself to take money out of my checking account the same day my paycheck is credited to go right into savings. I have saved almost $3000 in 7 months. With a healthy emergency fund you do not need credit cards."

Ithaca, NY

"I think credit cards are really next to necessary... I use someone else's money free for almost a month and it doesn't cost anything. Discover pays me 1% back on top of it. I have five (5) cards, but use mostly just three (3)."

Decatur, IL

myFICO is the consumer division of FICO. Since its introduction over 25 years ago, FICO® Scores have become a global standard for measuring credit risk in the banking, mortgage, credit card, auto and retail industries. 90 of the top 100 largest U.S. financial institutions use FICO Scores to make consumer credit decisions.

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