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Your credit score determines your borrowing power – do you know yours?

What is a credit score?

Your credit score is a three-digit numerical representation of your credit report that falls between 300 and 850.

It is calculated by credit bureaus that include the “big three”: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each credit-scoring bureau uses different criteria for measuring your credit score, weighing your history against a proprietary algorithm.

“The higher your credit score is, the better position you’re in to get approval for financial products with low interest rates and flexible terms.”

Get your score or rebuild your credit

Details Features
Get quarterly access to your most widely used FICO® Scores and a 3-bureau credit report
  • Get quarterly access to your most widely used FICO® Scores
  • Credit report change alerts
  • FICO® Score analysis
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Experian Credit Report
Experian Credit Report
Get your credit report and FICO score for just $1 with enrollment in Experian CreditWorks credit monitoring. Cancel anytime.
  • 3 credit reports
  • Track your FICO® score
  • Easy to use dashboard
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TransUnionCredit Report
TransUnionCredit Report
TransUnion credit score, monitoring and identity theft insurance.
  • Unlimited updates to your TransUnion credit score
  • Up to $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance
  • Personalized debt analysis
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Equifax Business Credit Monitor
Equifax Business Credit Monitor
Monitor your key business relationships to protect your company from losses.
  • Bankruptcy Alert
  • Derogatory Alerts
  • New Inquiry Alert
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$1 for a seven-day trial to get access to your credit score and credit report from TransUnion.
  • Credit reports from all 3 bureaus
  • Email alerts when your credit report changes
  • Up to $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance
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Details Features
Self Lender — Credit Builder Account
Self Lender — Credit Builder Account
Savings account that helps you build credit.
  • No hard credit inquiry
  • Available in all 50 states
  • It typically takes 60 days for new accounts to appear on credit reports
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Online credit repair service.
  • Credit report repair
  • 24/7 credit monitoring and alerts
  • Score tracker and analysis
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CuraDebt: Tax Debt Relief Free Consultation
CuraDebt: Tax Debt Relief Free Consultation
Debt relief professionals helping individuals and small businesses nationwide.
  • Free consultation and 100% confidential
  • 15+ years experience
  • Debt relief help for credit cards, medical bills and taxes
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The Credit Pros: Legal Credit Repair
The Credit Pros: Legal Credit Repair
Online credit repair service that gives free consultations.
  • Unlimited disputes to help clean up your credit
  • Monitor your credit with real-time alerts
  • Protects your identity on the dark web
  • Updated credit report and score each month
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Lexington Law Credit Repair
Lexington Law Credit Repair
Law firm that specializes in credit repair.
  • Remove incorrect listings from your credit file
  • Get free access to your credit report
  • Personalized credit repair services
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Professional credit repair service that can help you create a step by step action plan. Cancel anytime.
  • Free credit consultation
  • Over 15 years of credit repair experience
  • Get help optimizing your credit file
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Where do you get your free credit score?

In 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau pushed for top credit card companies to show consumers their credit score free of charge. Since then, many on the main credit card issuers have obliged, letting customers see their score either on a monthly statement or online.

While many of the lenders only allows its customers to view their credit score, Discover and Capital One allows everyone — customer or not — to access their credit score.

Why is my credit score important?

Lenders and credit providers use both your credit score and the information in your credit report to make decisions about whether you’re a reliable borrower for credit cards, personal loans, a mortgage or auto loans — plus the rates you’ll receive. On top of that, it can also determine how much you’ll pay for car insurance and rent.

Knowing your credit score can tell you where you fall in the credit range, from poor to excellent credit, and how your overall financial health is viewed by potential lenders. How Credit Scores Work

How is my credit score calculated?

You have a few different types of credit scores and each one is calculated differently depending on the credit reporting agency. In general, each of the factors below are what credit bureaus use to calculate your overall credit score.

  • Your personal information. Your age, how long you’ve been employed and the time you’ve been at your current address can each affect your score.
  • The age of your credit report. A credit report that’s been active a long time can improve your score.
  • Your payment history. Whether you’ve paid past and current credit accounts on time is a major factor in your overall score.
  • Your credit utilization ratio. Experts advise carrying a balance with a utilization of 30% or less. For example, if your credit limit is $1,000, keep your balance below $300, which is 30% of your limit.
  • Type of credit providers. For instance, holding an account with a bank carries a different level of risk than a store finance provider.
  • The number of listed credit inquiries. Frequent applications for credit raise your risk index and lower your credit score.
  • Liens and other judgments. An indicator of increased risk, civil judgments can decrease your credit score.

Do you know your credit score?

5 credit score pitfalls

Avoid these five common credit mistakes that could potentially impact and drag your score down:

  1. Having a credit utilization ratio of 30% or more.
  2. Missing or making late payments.
  3. Closing old credit accounts that have reported healthy activity to the three credit bureaus.
  4. Not taking the time to monitor each credit report for inaccuracies at least once a year.
  5. Making too many credit inquires at once.

What are the different credit score models?

Lenders and even the bureaus weigh the information in your credit history differently, but they’ve widely adopted two scores: FICO Score and VantageScore.

Both weigh the same factors when determining your credit score, including how long you’ve had credit, your payment history, your credit utilization rate and how many loan and other types of credit you carry.

What are the ranges of different credit score models?

Here’s a list of credit score ranges for the scoring models you may come across.

  • FICO Score: 300 -850
  • VantageScore 3.0: 300-850
  • Score from Experian: 300-850
  • Score from Equifax: 280-850
  • Score from TransUnion: 300-850
  • Experian PLUS score: 330-830

What’s a good FICO credit score?

Today, FICO Scores are used in 90% of credit decisions, which makes it a good barometer of how potential lenders might see you when determining approval.

Rating FICO score range
Very good 740+
Good 670-739
Fair 580-669
Poor 579 and below

Scoring systems will vary depending on where you’re getting your score from. However, they’re all similar in that the higher the credit score, the better your chances are at being approved for a loan.

What do different credit scores mean?

Each credit-scoring model (FICO and VantageScore being the most widely used) has different criteria for measuring scores. Here’s how applicants with different scores are viewed by credit issuers.

Credit rating How a lender sees your credit score FICO Score VantageScore
Very good You’re more likely than the average American to maintain healthy credit, and it’s unlikely you’ll incur an adverse event in the next 12 months. 740+ 720+
Good You’re less likely to declare bankruptcy, miss a payment on a debt or have a judgment against you, indicating less likelihood of a default. 670–739 658–719
Fair You’re likely to incur an adverse event such as a default, bankruptcy or something similar in the next year. 580–669 601–657
Poor You’re highly likely have adverse events listed on your credit report within the coming year, including court judgments, bankruptcies, insolvency or defaults. 579 or lower 600 or lower

What’s the difference between your credit score and your credit report?

Your credit report is a detailed record of your borrowing history, while your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness based off of your credit report.

On your credit report is list of the applications you’ve made for different forms of credit (whether they’ve been approved or not); your repayment history; details of any defaults you may have; and information about the consumer and commercial accounts you hold.

It also contains personal information including your name and age as well as data held on public record, such as bankruptcies. Your credit score is calculated by credit bureaus using the information on your credit file. The higher your credit score, the lower your risk as a borrower.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DionSeptember 13, 2017

    What is my credit score

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MaySeptember 14, 2017Staff

      Hi Dion,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      If you’d like to find out your score, you may generate it through credit agencies available like Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. Though please keep in that your score differs from the company you request it from. You can find more information from our guide on this page on how you can check your credit rating.

      Hope this helps.


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