What Is a Credit Score and Why It Matters?

If you have ever applied for a loan, you might have been asked to provide information regarding your credit history, so they’ll know if your credit score will qualify. It is common practice when individuals want to apply for mortgages and other financings. 

For many people, their credit score is crucial in determining whether they can obtain the financing they need to purchase a home or start a business.

What Is a Credit Score?

A credit score is a number that represents how likely you are to pay back the money you borrow. It’s a number that lenders use to determine your creditworthiness, which can have a significant impact on your ability to get loans and mortgages or even rent an apartment.

Your credit score is like a FICO score, but it’s different in some ways. Some people prefer to use their FICO scores because they’re used by lenders worldwide, and you can quickly check them online. 

But the FICO score doesn’t tell you everything about your credit; for example, it doesn’t tell you how much of your debt is from credit cards and how much is from mortgages or car loans.

That said, your credit score varies depending on where you live, what type of loan you have, and even how long ago it was established.

Does Your Credit Score Affect Your Finances?

Whether or not it matters to you, there’s a good chance that the answer is yes. Your credit score can affect your finances in many ways, from how much interest you pay on loans and credit cards to whether or not you get approved for mortgages and car loans.

A credit score is a number generated by the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). It indicates your ability to pay your bills on time and in full. The higher your score, the more likely you will be approved for loans and other types of credit.

Keeping your credit report clean is crucial for lenders to evaluate if you’re a good candidate for a loan. However, if you have a bad credit history, compare credit repair services to help you with your credit scores. Lenders will not want anything to do with you if you have too many late payments on your report or any derogatory marks.

How Is Your Credit Score Calculated?

Your credit report contains information about all of the accounts that will be used in calculating your credit score: 

  • accounts with revolving balances (like credit cards)
  • accounts with fixed amounts (like mortgages)
  • Other accounts may have been closed in the past year or two months before applying for a loan or mortgage.

Why Does Your Credit Score Matter?

Credit scores matter because they help you access the best credit cards, mortgages, and loans. You can get a credit card with a high credit score, but it will be more expensive than one with lower credit limits.

If your credit score is low, your interest rates may be higher than your high score. One of the most critical pieces of information in determining whether you get approved for a car loan or apartment lease is your credit score.

A higher number means you are better able to manage debt, while a lower number means you may need help to make payments on time or at all.

The average person has around 700 points on their credit score, which means they have an average score of 700 out of 1000 points. The highest possible score is 900; the lowest possible score is 300.

What Can You Do to Improve Your Credit?

Your credit score is a significant number that shows how well you are financially. It’s a number that lenders use to determine whether or not they’ll loan you, and it’s also a number that can help you get better terms on loans and other forms of credit.

There are several things you can do to improve your credit score:

  • First, pay your bills on time and in full each month. 
  • Second, don’t charge interest-free balance transfers or overdraft fees—these can lower your score by hundreds of points. 
  • Third, if you have student loans or other debt, try to pay as much as possible each month so that it will show up on your report as being paid off sooner rather than later. 
  • Finally, only open new accounts if necessary.

Final Thoughts

A good credit score is an asset you should start taking to heart. It might even open the door to better financial opportunities than you could have imagined. Just remember not to max out your cards (credit).

After all, responsible spending and saving are a large part of developing your credit score, so think twice before going crazy and racking up a bunch of debt that could damage your overall financial picture and your credit score along with it.