Understanding Your Credit Score

In general, your credit score is a gauge of your financial history and current financial status. It gives financial institutions an idea of the risk associated with financed purchases such as cars, homes, and those made with credit cards.

Scores usually range from 350-850 with higher scores indicating lower risk.

Factors which influence your credit score include:

  • The timeliness of your payments, including late payments
  • The amount and type of debt you have
  • The number and age of your credit accounts
  • Inquiries created by applying for credit
  • Public records such as liens and judgments

Credit reporting agencies

Three major credit reporting agencies determine your score, each according to their own proprietary scoring models:

Each agency can provide a copy of your credit report and is required by law to provide you with one free report annually. There may be a fee for additional requests.