Credit Report & Scores » 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.

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How often should I check my credit score?

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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.

Many different factors affect your credit score and each will vary depending on what credit scoring system is used.

Credit Score Factors

Each credit scoring system uses mathematical algorithms to generate a rating to help lenders better assess your creditworthiness. Credit scoring systems can consider hundreds of factors from your credit history when calculating a score. Some of the most common include:

  • Credit history
  • Payment history
  • Public records
  • Utilization rate
  • New accounts
  • Number of inquiries