Your credit score is the lender’s first impression. Almost all lenders use a credit score to form their first impression of an applicant’s financial situation. You actually have three credit scores –one each from Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Lenders may also have additional factors they consider in making a credit decisions, such as details of a person’s credit history, prior relationship with the company, or others.
The credit score is calculated to be a predictor of whether or not you will repay. Each credit reporting company has their own unique scoring model. Some credit card companies like Chase and Discover offer your credit score monthly with their statement. There are websites – Credit Karma.com, Quizzle.com and Credit.com that can show you a three-digit number representing your creditworthiness but it may only represent one of the credit reporting agencies – not all three. So be conservative when looking at those numbers.
Once a lender approves you for credit, lenders may pull your credit score or history regularly to determine whether you continue to be eligible for credit or qualify for special offers.
If you know you will soon need to replace a car or plan to buy a house – check your credit history about 4-6 months before your purchase. If you find errors, you have time to correct them. Start with www.AnnualCreditReport.com, the official free site to check your credit history.