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How to Check Your Credit Score


Your credit score is a numerical rating that basically tells lenders, employers, landlords, and other important institutions how good you are at paying back money that you have borrowed.


Your credit score is calculated using scoring models. Scoring models are computer programs that analyze the contents of your credit report — your history of borrowing and repaying debts, as recorded by the three national credit bureaus. Scoring models look for patterns in your credit report data that historically have been associated with payment defaults among consumers. Based on the prevalence (or absence) of these patterns, scoring models assign you a score. Scores range from 300-850, higher is better and lower can cause problems.


All other factors being equal, a higher credit score generally means you'll pay lower interest rates, fees and deposits. Over the lifetime of a loan, even a small reduction in rate can save you thousands of dollars in interest, so if you’re going to borrow money, it pays to have a high credit score.


Your FICO score (aka credit score) is calculated by the interpretation of your credit report by the reporting agencies. You can get both your credit score and credit report for free online - but you have to go to different places to get them.


  • Free Credit Report: You can access your entire credit report on www.annualcreditreport.com there are 3 credit companies that track and report your credit, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. You are granted access to each report for free once a year.

  • Free Credit Score: If you have a credit card through one of the big name banks, you may alredy have access to your credit score – check your statement or online billing portal to see if they offer you access to your score. You can also check you score for free online. The most well-known free websites are CreditKarma.com, and CreditSesame.com. You won’t have to pay anything to get your credit score, and your credit score won’t be negatively impacted by requesting it. Make sure you read the details when you are checking your score - some websites advertise they are “free” however, you need to pay to access your report. Even worse, you get automatically signed up for an annual subscription.

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