Its a three-digit number that carries a lot of influence over your future. It can dictate whether or not you'll qualify for a home, car, or business loan. It can also be the deciding factor in whether or not you qualify for a low interest rate.
What exactly is a credit score and what factors contribute to its number?
A credit score is a number from 200 to 800 that reflects your payment and borrowing history. Are you a big spender? Do you make payments faithfully and on time? It's what lenders use to decide a number of factors, including whether or not to lend to you.
There are three main reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Can a credit score from these agencies be biased? The simple answer is no. Your credit score is a true and honest reflection of your debt and payment history. This means that neither a lender nor credit agency can "have it out for you." You are the only person responsible for your score.
There are several factors that contribute to this score.
Be sure to check out your credit report three times a year at annualcreditreport.com. It's free, easy, and secure. You'll have to pay a nominal fee in order to see your score, but checking out your report can help you assess areas that need improvement or areas that have errors which need corrected.