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What’s the difference between a credit report and a credit score? A credit report contains all of the information related to your finances, such as payment history and amounts owed, and a credit score is the numerical value calculated from this information that is used by creditors to help determine whether to give you credit. If credit was a term paper, the score would be your grade at the top and the report would be the feedback your professor wrote about how well you performed on the back.
How is my score determined? Your credit score is determined by a complex mathematical equation taking into account a variety of financial factors, but is most influenced by two things: how you pay your debts and how much debt you owe.
What do the score numbers mean? Credit scores can range from 300 to 850, and most people score in the 600s and 700s. The higher the score, the lower the risk for a lender.
How can I improve my score? Your financial activity can either raise or lower your credit score. Paying bills on time, paying off balances, and avoiding excessive inquiries into your credit report can all help to improve your score, while delinquent payments, revolving debt rather than paying it off, and owning too many credit cards can hurt it.
Can debt ever be good? There is such a thing as positive debt . Just like in establishing a responsible credit history, having debt in something like a mortgage and using it responsibly can be good for your credit score.
Do I need to worry about identity theft? Check your credit report regularly to make sure you’re not a victim of identity theft. Imposters may use your personal information to get and use credit, which may damage your score.
What factors aren’t included in my score? In order to make credit score fair for everyone, there are many factors, like race, age, and religion, to name a few, that are never included in calculating your credit score.
Why are credit scores used, instead of making credit decisions on a case-by-case basis? Because credit scores don’t take into account demographic information like race or religion, they provide an objective and fast way for credit to determined.
How do I choose a credit card? Before you apply for a credit care or accept a pre-approved offer, examine the credit card closely. The annual percentage rate, annual fee, and transaction fees are just a few factors to consider closely.
Does everyone have a credit score? Not everyone has a credit score, but once you open a credit card, take out a student loan, or even have a bank account, chances are you’ll have one.