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Credit reports and scores

What is my credit score?

A credit score is a number that is used to predict how likely you are to pay back a loan on time.

Your credit score starts with the information about you from your credit report. A mathematical formula – called a scoring model – is then used to create your credit score.

Warning: There is no “one” credit score-there are many credit scoring formulas available to you as a consumer as well as to lenders, and the score will also depend on the data used to calculate it.

Tip: You can read the CFPB’s report on the differences between the credit scores available to you and the credit scores sold to lenders.

Credit scores are used by companies to make decisions such as whether to approve a mortgage at a certain rate or issue a credit card. Different lenders use different scoring formulas, so your score can vary from lender to lender. Usually a higher score makes it easier to qualify for a loan and may result in a better interest rate. Most scores range from 300-850.

Tip: To get and keep a good credit score:

  • Pay all your bills on time
  • Only apply for the credit that you need
  • Don’t use too much of the credit that is available to you
  • Order your credit report every year and dispute any errors you find

Tip: If you have a problem with credit reporting, you can submit a complaint with the CFPB online.

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