Understanding Credit Scores
For years, many people used credit cards and borrowed loans without really knowing about credit score. That is, until the economy hit the slump it’s in. Now, hardly anyone can get a loan they need without their credit score first being investigated. Because military families often rely on a single parent for financial support, military loans and credit cards or credit extensions are needed to cover the costs of necessary items. Late or missing payments to these debts affect credit scores. But what exactly is a credit score and how does it affect your ability to get credit?
Credit scoring is a system creditors use to help determine whether to give you credit, and how much to charge you for it. Information about you and your credit experiences, like your bill-paying history, the number and type of accounts you have, late payments, collection actions, outstanding debt, and the age of your accounts, is collected from your credit application and your credit report. Using a statistical formula, creditors compare this information to the credit performance of consumers with similar profiles. A credit scoring system awards points for each factor. A total number of points — a credit score — helps predict how creditworthy you are; that is, how likely it is that you will repay a loan and make the payments on time. Generally, consumers who are good credit risks have higher credit scores.
You can get your credit score from the three nationwide credit reporting companies, but you will have to pay a fee for it. Many other companies also offer credit scores for sale alone or as part of a package of products. You can obtain one free credit report per year from https://www.annualcreditreport.com/.
For more information about credit scores, see Need Credit or Insurance? Your Credit Score Helps Determine What You’ll Pay at ftc.gov/credit.
We recognize the struggles of military families and encourage family members to visit our site for information on fraudulent lenders, raising your credit score, keeping a budget and more content on credit scores. The information on our site is updated regularly so you can be sure the information you receive is the most reliable information available.
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