Credit score

Numbers that are expressions of a person’s creditworthiness. They are used by lenders to help determine whether a prospective borrower is likely to repay the debt and whether the person qualifies for a loan and at what interest rate. Scores are based on a person’s past history of paying bills, how much debt they have incurred and how they managed that debt. The most widely used scoring system was developed by FICO (the Fair Isaac Corp.) and assigns numbers between 300 and 850. People with scores under 600 are considered subprime borrowers and typically are charged more for loans than prime borrowers. Credit scores are reported to the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Employers sometimes check credit scores when screening job applicants.

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