credit score

Definition

A measure of credit risk calculated from a credit report using a standardized formula. Factors that can damage a credit score include late payments, absence of credit references, and unfavorable credit card use. Most of these factors are included on a credit report, which by law consumers are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus each year; this free report, however, does not include a consumer's specific credit score, but can be obtained for a fee. Many people who choose to view their credit report do so in order to make sure the information is accurate, and make corrections if necessary to items that may be inaccurately hurting their credit score. Lenders may use a credit score to determine whether to provide a loan and what rate to charge. One of the most common types of credit score in the United States is the FICO score.

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FICO score pre-approval