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How to Determine Your Credit Rating

 


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Do you know your credit score? It's the three-digit number that tells lenders whether or not you're a good candidate for credit. Your number can range from 300 to 800. If you've made payments on time and haven't maxed out your credit cards, your credit score will be near the higher end. If, on the other hand, you've got delinquent or defaulted accounts or a large amount of debt, your score will be lower. 700 is the minimum credit score required to qualify for low-interest mortgages and other hard-to-get services.

If you've been declined for credit, you're entitled to a free copy of your credit report. You can also request one free copy per year. But you won't find your credit score listed there. This might have you wondering, “How can I find out my credit rating?"

A simple Internet search for “credit score" or “credit rating" will turn up thousands of web sites where you can go to obtain your credit score. These sites charge varying amounts for this service, so be sure to shop around before selecting one. Some will require you to participate in a trial period for a credit monitoring service. If you don't want to subscribe, look for another site that will give you your credit score with no strings attached.

The three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, will provide your credit score for a small fee. The usual charge is $7-8.00. Contact these bureaus by mail or through their web sites: experian.com, equifax.com, and transunion.com, respectively. When you order online, you will receive your credit rating in minutes. It could take weeks or months to receive your credit score through the mail.

Credit bureaus and 90% of banks use your FICO score to determine your credit rating. FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation. You can go directly to myfico.com and order copies of your credit rating from all the major credit bureaus. This bundle costs $47.85.

Your credit score is your financial history neatly summed up in three digits. It allows lenders to tell at a glance whether you're a risky borrower or a safe bet. Instead of wondering whether you'll qualify for your next home or car loan, take action. Go online and get a copy of your credit rating. Then you'll know for sure how lenders will view your application. If your score turns out to be lower than you'd hoped, take heart; once you know the number you're working with, you can take steps to raise it.

Michael writes for Card Sense, where you can compare credit cards of many different kinds, including bad credit credit cards .

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