My credit card statement now has a credit score. What does this mean?
Recently, several credit card issuers introduced programs that provide customers with free credit scores.
This credit score could make it easier for you to spot whether there may be a problem or error on your credit report. For example, if the score is lower than expected, you may want to request your credit reports, dispute any errors that you may find, and take steps to improve your credit record by steps such as paying down debt and ensuring that you pay all your bills on time.
You have many different credit scores
It's normal to see slightly different numbers. For example, you may see:
- 726, when you saw your credit score online, provided by your credit card company
- 698, when you signed up for a separate, free credit monitoring service, and checked your score there
- 711, when your auto lender showed you the credit score it used to evaluate your loan application
Scores are calculated at different times, in different ways
Credit report data
A score uses data from a credit reporting company, and each may have slightly different data:
Your scores are not calculated on a fixed schedule, so they depend on:
- When data is updated at a reporting company
- When your score is actually calculated
Companies have created multiple versions of their scoring models and update them frequently:
- Other custom models
Your credit history and behavior form the basis of your credit scores
- Payment history
- Percent of available credit used
- Current unpaid debt
- Type of debt and when it started
- Length of credit histopry
- New aplications for credit
Warning: Each credit card company uses its own formula for assessing your credit profile. The credit score you get from credit card company X may be slightly different from the credit score you get from credit card company Y. The credit score provided to you by the credit card company may also be a different score than what is used by other non-credit card lenders or finance companies. For example, if you seek an auto or home loan, your lender may use a different credit score than the one provided by the credit card company to assess your credit.