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What is the FICO Score 9?

The FICO Score 9 is a credit score, and it's one of the newest versions. The companies that report on credit are always trying to improve the way that they do so to make it more accurate. While these scores do take into account many of the things you'd expect -- your debt, missed payments, lines of credit and more -- it's important not to assume that they never change.

One big change with the FICO Score 9 in that medical debt, though it does still factor in, isn't as important. This helps to show that there's a difference between debt that consumers choose to have, like car loans, and debt that they're stuck with in the wake of an unexpected medical emergency.

Another change is that paying off what is owed in collections actually removes that debt from your report. Other scores still counted it, though it may not have been as bad as if you hadn't paid it. The new score gives you some incentive to erase your debt and really see things improve.

Furthermore, your history of rent payments can now factor in. Many people rent long-term, rather than buying homes. Making all of these payments on time does show good money management skills, just like paying a mortgage off on time every month.

These are the three biggest changes, and it's crucial to be aware of how they're potentially going to alter your credit score. This may change the way that you approach your medical debt and other types of debt down the line, and it can have a huge impact on your ability to borrow money when things aren't ideal financially.

Source: The Dough Roller, "Everything You Need to Know About the FICO Score 9," Abby Hayes, accessed Oct. 20, 2016

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