Simply put, a credit score is a number representing the likelihood that you will pay your debts. This number gives creditors and lenders a decision-making tool as to whether to extend a loan to you and at what interest rate and credit limit. Although a perfect score of 850 may not be within reach, a high score can mean getting a lower interest rate, therefore saving you money by paying less interest over time. Follow these steps to keep your score in tip-top shape.
Order Your Credit Report
Your credit score is based on your entire credit history, calculated using information contained in your credit report. By law, you're entitled to one, free credit report a year from each of the three main credit-reporting companies at annualcreditreport.com. Carefully review each of them for accuracy and dispute all errors. An up-to-date credit report can ensure an accurate credit score.
Purchase your credit score
Since your credit score isn't included on your free credit report, you'll have to pay for it. You can purchase it from any of the three credit-reporting companies listed below. Whether you are applying for an auto or mortgage loan, buy your credit score prior to applying for a major loan so you can negotiate a competitive interest rate.
Improve your credit score
Having a good credit score doesn't happen overnight, so take the time to get it into great shape.
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