Don't worry: checking your credit score won't lower it.

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Credit scores are often used by lenders to predict how likely you are to repay your loans. To help you better understand your credit score, TransUnion features a new and improved way to do credit checking using VantageScore®. The three credit bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, developed VantageScore to improve the consistency, accuracy and predictive quality of consumer credit scores, and to enable more consumers with limited credit histories to receive a credit score for the first time when credit checking.

Consumer credit scores fall within a range of 501 to 990, with higher credit scores representing a lower likelihood that you won't pay back debts. When you get a credit score from TransUnion, you'll see your VantageScore and receive a letter grade (A-F) to help you assess how lenders view you and how your credit scores compare with those of other consumers.

How is my credit score determined?

1. Payment history: A good record of on-time payments will help your credit score.
2. Outstanding debt: High balances in relation to your credit limits can lower your credit score. Aim for balances under 35%.
3. Credit account history: An established credit history makes you a less risky borrower. Think twice before closing old accounts before a loan application.
4. Recent inquiries: When a lender or a business checks your credit score, it causes a hard inquiry and a slight ding to your credit score. Apply for new credit
    in moderation.
5. Types of credit: A healthy credit profile has a balanced mix of credit accounts and loans.

How does my credit score affect me?

Your credit score can be an important indicator of your financial health. Lenders may use your credit score to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for a loan and what type of interest rate you will pay.

It's always a good idea to check your credit score regularly to stay on top of credit status. So if you're wondering, "What is my credit score?" you can view your credit score here or learn more about credit scores in the Credit Education Center.