Your credit score is a three-digit number derived from detailed information about your credit history, and it can be one of your most valuable assets. Your credit score will play an important role in your financial future: it can mean the difference between being able to purchase a home with a mortgage or having to continue renting. It can also drastically affect the rate of interest you pay on your loans (car loans, home loans, privately consolidated student loans, etc.). The higher (and better) your credit score, the less interest you will have to pay each month and overall. Your credit risk is evaluated, largely by reference to your credit score, any time you apply for a credit card or any type of loan. Keep in mind, though, that landlords, utility companies, and potential employers may also take this information into account.

Personal Finance, Duke University

Check your score

You’ve been bombarded by the TV ads about checking your credit score but here’s the truth. You don’t need those sites. You can request a free copy of your credit report from the 3 major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion once a year at Your credit report is also available for free within 60 days of being denied credit or if you are unemployed, on welfare or if there is an error in your report. Keep in mind that if you spot an error or inconsistency you should immediately request a dispute form as you only have 30 days after receiving your report.