In the US, a credit score is a rating system that is used to measure the credit level of an individual. The score that a person has will be used to determine their credit worthiness. The credit score will be mathematically calculated by using a model that is based on statistics. Lenders will use the credit score of an individual to determine the probability of them paying back money they have borrowed. This calculation will be made for a specific period of time. The credit score is directly connected to the information that is available on the credit report. The credit score is typically used by credit card companies, banks, and car dealers. They will use this score to determine the risk involved with loaning money to borrowers.
If you are a US citizen, your credit score will determine if you will be given a loan, and it will also determine you interest rate. If you have a low credit score, you may be rejected from getting a loan, or you may be given a high interest rate if you are approved for a loan. There are a number of factors which will determine your credit score. The number of accounts you currently have will play a role, as well as your payment history. If you have been consistently been late paying your bills, this may cause you to have a low credit score. The lender will also look to see if you have any existing loans that are in default. The most well known credit scoring system in the US is called FICO.
However, FICO is not the only available credit scoring system. Other organizations which calculate credit scores are Vantage and NextGen. The FICO orgnization stands for Fair Isaac Corporation, and uses a specific mathematical system for calculating the credit score of citizens. The score that FICO generates will determine whether you are approved for declined for a loan. There are three agencies that will also be responsible for calculating credit scores, and they are TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Each lender that you come in contact with may use a different credit scoring agency. While many banks use FICO, some companies may use NextGen.
Each individual will be scored against the general population. For example, if you are 11 days late paying a bill, your credit score will be compared to the general population of people that have been late paying their bills as well. Once you are compared to the general population, your risk of default can be determined. In addition to FICO, most large banks will also use their own statistical systems as well. These systems may be regulated by the Federal Reserve. For example, companies are not allowed to discriminate against applicants based on their race, gender, religion, or marital status. The decision that is made by the lender must be purely based on the credit score. If a person is rejected from receiving a loan, the lender must be able to give details as to why they were rejected.
Michael Colucci is a writer on Credit Score which is part of the Knowledge Search network.