Credit Advice » Score Advice

Score Advice

A credit score is a three-digit number based on data pulled from your credit report, and it is one of several factors that lenders use to determine whether they should give you a loan or credit card. Your score can also affect what terms and interest rates you qualify to receive.

What is Provided with Your Credit Score

In addition to learning your three-digit score, a credit score is typically provided with a description of what items from your credit report most affected the score, both positively and negatively.

Credit Report vs. Credit Score

Credit reports and credit scores are two separate items lenders use to learn more about your financial history and the likelihood you’ll pay your bills in the future. While related, credit scores are not part of a credit report. Credit scores are based on information from your credit report, but must be requested separately.

Credit Scores are Not Included in Credit Reports

June 1, 2015

Dear Experian, I got my credit report, but where is my credit score? How do I get it? - JLE

Reducing Your Credit Limit Could Hurt Your Credit Score

July 2, 2014

Dear Experian, I have one credit card with a zero balance and a $10,000 limit. Will my credit score be hurt if I reduce my limit to $5,000? - CGC

Closing Store Credit Cards Could Affect Your Credit Score

May 19, 2014

Dear Experian, Can closing a few of my department store credit card accounts affect my credit scores if I have established good credit and have high credit scores? My husband...

Credit Card Balance Can Affect Credit Scores

May 2, 2014

Dear Experian, My credit score factors say “amount owed on revolving accounts is too high,” but I pay the balances off every month. I make more than $1 million per...

Balance-to-Limit Ratio vs. Debt-to-Income Ratio

March 28, 2014

Dear Experian, What is the appropriate balance-to-limit or debt-to-income ratio? I do not maintain a balance on my credit cards but worry that I have credit limits that are too...

Why Your Credit Score May Be Low

February 26, 2014

Dear Experian, I only have one debt which is less than $1,000. I also have two credit cards. Together they have a balance of about $2,000 each month, but I...

What “Too Few Accounts Paid as Agreed” Means

October 30, 2013

Dear Experian, How can "too few accounts currently paid as agreed" be a reason for an adverse effect on my credit score when I currently have no unpaid accounts? - MIJ

How Utilization Rate Affects Credit Scores

Dear Experian, I have been led to believe that a component of one's overall credit score is the ratio of current credit card balances to one's total available credit. If...

Bad Credit Even Though Bills are Paid on Time

September 10, 2013

Dear Experian, Why is my credit bad? I paid every thing on time. - WOD

Why a Credit Score by Itself is Meaningless

Dear Experian, I have a credit report and a score of 785. So what? I haven't been able to ascertain what the "grading scale" is. Any help? - STO

Difference Between Credit Reporting Agencies and Credit Scores

Dear Experian, What are the differences between the three national credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and Trans Union? Is the credit reporting different, and why are the credit scores different? -...

Deleting an Account Did Not Raise Credit Score

Dear Experian, I recently had an account deleted from my credit report. Why didn’t my credit score go up? - ENS