Understanding What a Credit Score Is

You just want to get a loan and suddenly you are bombarded with all this questions about your credit score. And you don’t really know what to answer since you don’t even know what a credit score is.

A credit score is your credit grade, representing how much of a good creditor you are. This score is dependent upon your credit history and credit report information, which is gotten from credit bureaus and credit reference agencies such as Equifax and TransUnion. Banks, credit card companies and lending companies use the credit score to have an idea if a person will pay what they borrowed in time. These scores will help these companies calculate their risk and determine if you will be lent to or not.

Another use for the score is to determine how many percent interest rates will be given to the borrower and what will be the terms of payment. People with high credit scores will be given more time frame to pay their debts and much lower interest rates.

A person with a not so good credit may be given shorter terms in their payments but high interest rates. This is because they are riskier to lend money to so the banks and lending companies would want to get a high interest from them at shorter periods of time.

Because of the importance that credit score information gives to companies, banks and lending companies are now not the only ones that use these information. Even mobile phone companies, insurance companies, and private companies also use this information to check on the background of their clients and potential employees and see their character.

There are actually a lot of ways to determine what a person’s credit score is. One of the most popular is the FICO score which was created by Fair Isaac Corporation. FICO is being used by lenders of mortgages to determine which borrowers are likely to default on their payments. A FICO credit score can range from 300 to 850.

When before only financial institutions have access to their credit score, now it is being commercialized. Equifax is actually offering consumers a glimpse of their FICO score through their website for a fee, $12.95. The same goes with other credit bureaus such as TRansUnion and Experian but what they are offering is not the actual FICO score but their own scores.

Both companies however swear that their scores are comparable to the FICO scores. Experian charges the same price as Equifax for their score, $12.95 while TRansUnion charges $9.00 for a credit report that will also have the credit score. This can be purchased by mail, through phone and of course, the easiest course, online.

Some however do not see the need to buy these things as they are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three agencies. Some states even give a free credit reports within 30 days of being rejected of a credit by a lending institution or when they receive a not so good credit terms because of their credit score.