Georgia Gas Plans for Credit-Challenged
Natural gas providers in Georgia use credit screening when processing new orders. Similar to auto insurers who screen out risky drivers who raise the cost for all policy holders, screening out customers with high-risk credit ratings or requiring those accounts to pay higher deposits helps natural gas providers regulate costs and pass the savings on to their customers.
If you have a negative credit history, you may experience difficulty signing up for natural gas service in Georgia. If you are approved for service, you will most likely be required to pay a higher deposit and monthly fee.
A credit score is a number that helps providers determine how likely you are to make your payments on time. Each score is based on the information in your current credit report. The most commonly used score is the FICO® score developed by Fair Isaac Corporation. FICO scores range from 300-850, and most people score in the 600s and 700s (higher FICO scores are better). Generally, FICO credit scores above 700 are very good and a sign of good financial health. FICO scores below 600 indicate high risk to lenders.
FICO scores are available from three national credit reporting agencies (also called credit bureaus): Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each credit reporting agency calculates your score and each score may be different because the credit history each agency has about you may be different. Providers may make their decision based on a single agency's score, although others such as mortgage lenders often will look at all three scores.
As a rule, credit scores analyze the credit-related information on your credit report.
Learning More About Your Credit
If you think you may have a negative credit history, it is a good idea to research your credit before signing up for new service. With the rise in identity theft and the importance placed on credit scores for most financial transactions, it is now easier than ever to find out your credit history. Different sources provide credit scores to consumers via the Internet, telephone or U.S. mail. For most scores, you will need to pay a small amount. You also will be asked to prove your identity to make sure your financial information isn't given to the wrong person.
Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) consumers can request and obtain a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies. AnnualCreditReport.com provides consumers with the secure means to do so.
myFICO is the consumer division of Fair Isaac, the company that invented the FICO credit risk score. Prices vary from $15 to $50, depending on the number of scores you order.
Individual Credit Reporting Agencies
Each of these credit reporting agency offers a different type of credit score:
For more information on credit scores and credit history, visit the Federal Information Center Your Credit Scores site. You can also check out Five Ways to Boost Your Credit Score by CNNMoney.com to learn more how you can improve your credit rating.
Credit Challenged Natural Gas Option
If you believe that you credit score will prevent you from being accepted by a provider on this site, or have been turned down by a provider, you can go to SCANA Energy's Regulated Division's web site to find other options for natural gas service.