Understanding the Ins and Outs of Your Credit Score

When it comes to a person's ability to get a credit card, purchase a home, receive a loan, or buy a new car, a good credit score is invaluable. Most people understand the importance of having good credit while others, such as college students and people who are just beginning their financial journey, may find themselves wondering what is a credit rating and why it is so important. A credit rating, or score, is a number that is used to determine to what degree a person is credit worthy. The score is determined by several factors that are evaluated and scored by a credit rating agency. This number appears on a person's credit report and will indicate whether a person is a low or a high risk. A person with a high score is considered a low-risk and is more likely to be approved for loans, etc. A person with a low score is considered a high risk and is more likely to be turned down for credit or require a co-signer. Loans and credit are not the only reasons why it is important to have a high credit rating. Depending on where a person lives, his or her credit may also be used to determine insurance rates or as a determining factor when renting an apartment or a home. A poor credit rating can even threaten a person's future by preventing him or her from being hired if potential employers perform credit checks. To keep one's credit from slipping a person should understand what factors affect credit score ratings. These factors include paying bills on time, the amount owed on credit cards, loans, mortgages, etc., and the length of one's credit history. The best way to ensure a good credit rating is to not only fully understand credit and credit ratings, but to also act responsibly and make the right financial decisions.

Good Credit Understanding Your Credit Score

This is a PDF brochure that is designed to help people better understand their credit score. The brochure reviews factors that influence one's credit score and gives the reader examples to help them determine if their credit score is above average.

Credit Counts... Know the Score! - Understanding the Importance of Credit Scoring

This PDF document helps readers to understand the importance of one's credit score through a series of questions and graphs. Answers are given in the PDF and myths and reality are also reviewed.

Financial Wellness - Credit Score

On this page readers may click on one of four questions about credit and credit scores. Clicking on the question opens up a drop-down box that contains the answer to the credit related question. The page also features a brief video about credit.

Ten Common Credit Myths That Could be Costing You Money

Forbes Magazine online discusses common mistakes that can negatively impact a person's credit rating. Mistakes range from not checking one's credit score to making payments on an old debt.

Understanding Your Credit Score

This is a Smart Money 101 article about credit on the Boston University website. This page discusses how to understand credit scores. The reader may also click on link to further information that can be found on the website about credit, such as how to establish credit and how to check one's credit score.

Your Financial GPA

By clicking on his link readers are given the answer to (what is a credit rating) and they learn how it is calculated. In addition, readers will also learn why it is important to have a good credit score. Examples are given to illustrate its importance.

How to Build a Good Credit Score

This article discusses the importance of good credit to the American economy. Guidelines that outline how to build a good credit score are also included in this article.

Six Items That Can Kill Your Credit Score

This is an article that appears on the Fox Business website. The article outlines things that can lower a person's credit score, such as late payments and high debt-to-credit limit ratios.

Credit Report & Score

This is an article that appears on the website for USF Off-Campus Housing website. The article reviews the definition of a credit report and a credit score. Readers will then learn what happens if they do not have a credit score. Because the article is geared toward college students, the rest of the article discusses students renting with little or no credit.

Establishing Credit History in U.S.

This is a PDF document that explains what a credit history is and why it is important. The document also includes establishing a credit history,(what factors affect credit score) and history, and tips on how to keep good credit.

College of Charleston - Understanding Your Credit

This article is directed toward college students, however much of the information is also valuable to adults who are not currently attending college. It explains what a credit score is and focuses on the FICO score. A chart outline factors that determine one's FICO rating is included on the page. Additional information such as free credit reports and improving one's credit score are also included in this article.

Learn About Credit Bureaus, Credit Reports, and Credit Scores

This BYU Marriott School article is provides information for people interested in learning about their credit score, credit report and the credit bureaus. It explains what information is found on a person's credit report and it reviews what the process is for a credit evaluation.

Your Credit Score Isn't What You Think It Is

In this article CNN reports on the difference between the credit score that a person sees and the score that lenders see. The article is based on the findings from a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Your Credit Score: The Magic Number Explained

Clicking on this link will open an article on the Reader's Digest website that answers the question to what a credit score is. The page answers other credit related questions in a question and answer format. It also includes a breakdown of how the credit bureaus calculate an individual's credit score.

You Can Check Your Credit Rating

This is a PDF document from NM State University. The document discusses and explains credit reports, why people should order one and how to do it. People will also learn what to do if there is an error on the report.

Spending and Credit are Serious Business

This PDF document is an in-depth look into credit, why it is needed, and the importance of having a good score. Readers will learn about information such as the different forms of credit, how to read a credit report, and additional information about using credit wisely.

Understanding My Credit

Clicking on this link will take the reader to the Curry College website where he or she will learn information such as (what is a credit rating) and credit report. The reader will also learn what type of information to expect on a credit report and how to get a free annual copy.

UAB Students: Credit Reports & Scores

People who are unfamiliar with how credit works will learn about credit scoring and what a good or bad credit score means. They will also learn how to start establishing credit if they have never had a credit card.

Changes in Credit Scoring - Why This is Important to You

This PDF report from the University of Michigan Credit Union reviews information such as credit reports, credit scores, and credit worthiness. Readers also learn about The Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA, what is stored in a credit file and for how long, and credit scoring factors. Additional information includes how scores from low risk to high risk are interpreted and the importance of having a high score.

University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension: Credit How Do You Score?

When reading this PDF document people will learn about why the information that makes up a credit score is important and what information makes a credit file. Readers also learn what a credit score is and (what factors affect credit score) ratings. Nine tips are also given on how to improve one's credit score.

Consumer Information - How Credit Scores Affect the Price of Credit and Insurance

The Federal Trade Commission explains credit scores and reporting. This article reports on the reliability of the credit score rating, how a person can improve his or her score, and what to do if denied credit or insurance.

Credit Bureaus and Credit Scoring

Basic information on the credit bureaus and credit scoring. By clicking on this link readers will also learn how to contact the three major credit bureaus.

FDIC Credit Reports and Scores

Clicking on this link will take consumers to information about the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, or FACTA. Consumers will learn how it affects their credit score and their ability to get a credit report.

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System: Credit Reports and Credit Scores

This is a Consumer's Guide that answers questions on three topics - "Your Credit Report," "Your Credit Score," and "Credit Report Errors." Links at the top of the page will take the reader directly to a specific topic on the page.

Debt/Credit Help - Credit Basics

By clicking on this link consumers are taken to information about credit and debt on the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs website. The brief but helpful information explains and breaks down credit scores as well explains the credit score system.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - Credit Scores

This article explains what credit scores are and what the rating means for the consumer. It also briefly discusses what a person should do if there are mistakes on his or her credit report.

Texas Department of Insurance: Credit Scoring & Insurance

This page touches on the topic of insurance credit scoring. There is a brief explanation of what an insurance credit score is and there are links to take the reader to further information on the topic. Other links include, but are not limited to information such as companies that use credit scoring and a credit information resource page.

Delaware Department of Insurance

This article explains Delaware's stance on using credit information in setting insurance rates. The article explains the law and what a consumer should do if their credit rating has improved since buying or renewing their insurance policy.

California Department of Consumer Affairs

The importance of credit scores is the topic of this article by the California DCA. Consumers learn what a good score is, why it matters and what determines a credit score.

Answers About Credit Scores

This is the Credit Card page to the Answers and Solutions for Customers of National Banks section of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency website. There are two credit related links on this page.

State of New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance - What is a Credit Score?

This page not only answers what a credit score is, but it also explains how it is calculated, how to get it, and how to correct inaccuracies. There is also information about FACT Act.

New York State Department of Financial Services - Understanding Your Credit Report and Your Credit Score

This page is designed to help people better understand credit reports. It also explains credit scores, how they are calculated, and credit history.

Consumer Tips - What You Need to Know About Insurance Credit Scoring

The Ohio Department of Insurance offers these consumer tips to help people understand how credit is used when determining insurance. Readers will learn what insurance companies use and what they are not allowed to use when setting insurance rates for auto or home insurance.

Credit History: Is It Any of Your Employer's Business?

On the Minnesota Department of Human Rights website there is a six page article credit scores and employment. This link will take the reader to the introduction page of the article. To read another section, or page, the reader may click on any of the links beneath "Contents" on the right hand side of the page.

Where do you Score?

Clicking on this link will take the reader to a page on the University of Minnesota Student Services website and an article about credit score. The main focus of the article is about obtaining one's credit report and what to be cautious of when ordering from for-profit companies.

Facts About Credit Scoring

This article about credit scores briefly discusses information such as the factors used to determine a credit score, credit reports, and other addition information that is related to credit and credit rating.

Understanding Your Financial Health

This is a page of Frequently Asked Questions. The questions are divided into topics such as credit score, building credit, protecting credit, and consumer rights and responsibilities.

Personal Finance at Duke - Credit Score

This is a page that briefly introduces credit. The page includes links to further information such as why credit scores matter and what to do with a credit report. Readers will also find links that will answer questions about improving credit scores and how they are calculated.

Colorado State University Extension - Credit

This credit scores page provides readers with a list of quick facts at the top of the page. The remainder of the article outlines important information about credit scores, reports and determining factors.

Take Command of Your Credit Score

This topic of this article is credit scores and it is divided into two sections. The first section involves FICO scores and the second half of the article discusses unavailable credit history.

By Kelly Anderson