Improve Your FICO Credit Score by Making Sure its Error-Free

by : Tom Kline

A strong FICO credit score gets you the best financing when buying used cars.

One of the factors lenders use when determining whether to grant a loan when buying your next POV (Privately Owned Vehicle) is your FICO credit score, otherwise known as your auto loan credit score. This score, maintained by the 3 leading credit reporting agencies (CRAs), reveals if you (the borrower) pay your debts (credit card, car payment, etc.) in a timely fashion.

Military borrowers - know your auto loan credit score before you start shopping for, and buying used cars.

It's true for all, no matter your MOS (Military Occupational Specialty): credit scores affect your purchasing power. How do you make sure that your FICO credit score is correct?

Consumer reports are regulated under The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Recent amendments to this law give additional responsibilities to the CRAs and creditors who provide information for credit reports. One key provision is that all consumers may obtain one free credit report a year. You can obtain your free report by contacting 877-322-8228 or Annual Credit Report Request Service, P. O. Box 105283, Atlanta, GA 30348-5283. Note your report does not contain your FICO score.

If you find a mistake on your credit report, self help credit repair wisdom says fix it immediately.

You can follow one of several routes to correct a low FICO or auto loan credit score:

1. Smart military men and women engage in self help credit repair ASAP. First contact the CRA which reported the mistake in writing. The CRA is required to investigate within 30 days. If something is changed by the investigation, they are required to give you written results and a free copy of your revised credit report.

2. Contact the creditor who provided faulty information to the CRA. If the information they gave the creditor is wrong, they must correct it. If they disagree with you, they must provide a written statement to the CRAs with complete information.

3. If you believe that your low auto loan credit score is due to fraud, report it to the FTC, which will investigate for you. Their mission is to protect consumers against fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices. Visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

Whether you're buying used cars, motorcycles, or major appliances, a strong auto loan credit score will land you lower interest rates.

An auto loan credit score is the primary factor used by car dealers in deciding the terms of a loan, or even whether to give one. Check your credit score at least once a year, and quickly correct errors to ensure you get the best car for your budget.