What is a credit score?

Generally speaking, a credit score is a three-digit number ranging from 300 to 850, which is designed to represent your credit risk, or the likelihood you will pay your bills on time. Credit scores are calculated using information in your credit reports, including your payment history; the amount of debt you have; and the length of your credit history.

There are many different credit scores and credit scoring models, or ways of calculating credit scores.

Credit scores are used by potential lenders and creditors, such as banks, credit card companies or car dealerships, as one factor when deciding whether to offer you credit, like a loan or a credit card. It's one factor among many to help them determine how likely you are to pay back money they lend. Different lenders have different criteria when it comes to granting credit, which may include information such as your income or other factors. 

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