What's Your Score? What Does It Mean?
The credit industry is keeping score. Every time you apply for a credit card, mortgage, insurance, or perhaps even a job, your application is judged in part by your credit score. Ranging from 300 to around 900, the number is used by lenders to objectively measure your creditworthiness. The higher the score, the more likely you are perceived to repay credit.
There are two commonly used scores: FICO and VantageScore. FICO scores range from 300 to 850, while Vantage scores range from 501 to 990.
Factors that affect your credit score include payment history, amount of debt you carry, length of credit history, whether you frequently apply for new credit, and your credit mix (credit cards, retail cards, mortgage, and personal loans).
The best advice is to pay bills on time and only charge as much as you can afford to pay in full when the bill is due on credit cards and other revolving accounts.
To order your credit report for free, go to www.annualcreditreport.com. You can order one free credit report a year from each of the three credit reporting bureaus.
Copyright 2008 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.