What is a credit score?

So what is a credit score anyway?

Credit scores measure creditworthiness. Issued by one of three credit bureaus, they help lenders decide whether to approve you for a loan or credit card. Your credit score could mean the difference between a 5% and 15% interest rate...or not getting approved at all.

Don't know your credit score? Go!

Credit scores range between 300 and 850. The financial information used to calculate your score is compiled in your credit report, a document summarizing all of your financial activities and history. While many of your financial activities stay on your credit report for many years, your credit score can change frequently based on your latest financial activities. The higher your credit score, the lower the risk you pose to lenders. Most Americans score in the 600 and 700s.

Different scores can affect your creditworthiness:

  • 300-600: You'll likely have trouble securing credit with a score under 600.
  • 600-700: A score in this range may only allow for loans at high interest rates.
  • 700-850: Favorable scores above 700 will offer more possibilities and lower interest rates among lenders.

So how is your score actually calculated?

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