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What Is a Credit Score?

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What is a credit score, and why is it so important? Understanding your credit score and what goes into your credit profile is a crucial first step towards achieving and maintaining a quality score.

What Is a Credit Score?

A credit score is the numerical assessment of your credit risk. A lender who extends credit is trying to determine a likelihood of default for each potential credit recipient. A higher credit score number puts you into a lower credit risk. As a result, credit interest rates and terms for your credit will usually be more favorable. Conversely, a lower credit score means you may be higher risk and receive less favorable credit terms and interest rates.

How Is a Credit Score Determined?

There are three national credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and each of them compile a report on your credit. These credit reports are based on items in your credit history, such as how much credit you have available, what your payment history is, and negative items such as loan defaults or bankruptcy filings. Most lenders utilize some form of credit scoring to help determine your credit worthiness. Credit scores are calculated using algorithms on the data contained in the report. Since each of these credit reporting agencies operate independently, the information on each report may vary, and subsequently, your score numbers calculated from each report may be different. Most of the time, this is not a problem, as the score numbers will be relatively similar. However, if there is a major inaccuracy on one credit report, this can turn into a big problem. That's because lenders often only look at one credit score. If that happens to be the erroneously low score, you may find yourself being denied credit or the credit terms that you expected. This is why it is important to review all of your credit reports - and the VantageScore credit scores™ associated with each - regularly throughout the year. See details.

What Is Considered a Good Credit Score?

PrivacyGuard's Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit scores are provided by VantageScore, and range from a high of 850 to a low of 350. Based on that scale, a score of 760 or above puts you in the most favorable category. Keep in mind that in addition to determining your credit worthiness, your credit reports and scores can also affect your ability to get insurance, an apartment or a job, so it is crucial that you stay on top of your credit all year.

How To Monitor Your Credit Report and Credit Score

PrivacyGuard makes it easy to stay on top your credit and help get your numbers where they should be. For starters, you can get your latest triple-bureau credit report and VantageScore credit scores™ every month, so you can keep track of your credit and review it for accuracy throughout the year. See details. In addition, PrivacyGuard's triple- bureau credit monitoring will alert you of certain changes to your credit, so you can be alerted of queries to your credit files and new accounts that open in your name - factors which can impact your credit scores and be a sign of potential fraudulent activity. And, should you ever have trouble understanding your credit report, or find an inaccuracy, PrivacyGuard is there to help, with toll-free phone support and personal assistance to help you every step of the way. See details.

Get Your Latest Credit Report and Scores from PrivacyGuard

Best of all, you can get your latest triple-bureau credit reports and scores - as well as all of PrivacyGuard's other benefits - just for trying PrivacyGuard. Sign up today, and get your credit scores and a whole lot more right at your fingertips.

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