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FICO sells credit reports in Spanish

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Credit reports are now on sale in Spanish.

The company behind the most widely used credit scores, Fair Isaac Corp., plans to announce Tuesday that its consumer website and products are available in Spanish for the first time.

FICO says the prices and products are the same as on the English version of the site.

The Spanish language version, which went live for testing in October, was designed to mirror the English language version, said Amber Minson, general manager of FICO's consumer scores. She said the financial educational materials on the site are direct translations as well.

The rollout of the myFICO en Espanol comes at a time when the Hispanic population is expanding rapidly.

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Over the past decade, census figures show that Hispanics have accounted for more than half the U.S. population increase and now make up 16 percent of the population, up from 13 percent a decade ago.

To accommodate the growing number of bilingual customers, FICO says visitors to its site can now toggle between the English and Spanish versions of its site. The site is available at espanol.myFICO.com or by clicking the “Espanol” tab in the top right corner of the myFICO.com homepage.

Visitors to the site will want to carefully review their options before making any purchases. FICO offers several products that differ significantly in price, so customers should first determine the level of credit monitoring they want.

The most basic option on myFICO is to purchase a FICO score and report for $20; that includes an explanation of the positive and negative factors affecting the score.

But the site also offers more elaborate credit monitoring services, with monthly packages that require at least three-month subscriptions. A Suze Orman package, which includes three FICO scores and three credit reports, costs $49.95.

If a Spanish translation isn't a must, consumers should take advantage of their rights to a free annual credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies before paying for any credit products. The reports can be accessed at www.annualcreditreport.com .

Those who are in the market for a loan may also get free copies of their credit scores from lenders, depending on the type of loan they're applying for and the terms they're given. Credit reports and scores are also available for free from other sources.

The credit monitoring website CreditKarma.com, for example, offers users unlimited access to free scores and reports. Users do not have to give their credit card information; the site makes money through credit card advertising.

The scores provided by CreditKarma.com are VantageScores, rather than the widely used FICO scores. But a VantageScore can give borrowers an idea of where their credit stands.

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Candice Choi can be reached at www.twitter.com/candicechoi .

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