A credit score is a number that is calculated based on your credit history to give lenders a simpler “lend/reject” answer for people who are applying for credit or loans. This number helps the lender identify the level of risk they may be taking if they lend to someone. Although there are several scoring methods, the score most commonly used by lenders is known as a FICO because of its origins with Fair Isaac and Company. Fair Isaac is an independent company that came up with the scoring method and software used by banks and lenders, insurers and other businesses. Each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) worked with Fair Isaac in the early 1980’s to come up with the scoring method.
Your credit score is calculated in a weighted formula. It uses the information in your credit report. The number itself can range from 300 to 900. The formula for exactly how the score is calculated is proprietary information and owned by Fair Isaac.
In most instances, you need to pay to see your own credit scores. But a few credit cards offer their card members free access to credit scores and reports. In addition, some credit monitoring services also offer free credit scores and reports.
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- Checking your own credit will NOT lower your score
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