Your credit score is like a report card of your credit history. It's a sophisticated rating system that is used to determine if you're a good or bad credit risk. A credit bureau compiles all of your available financial data into a model that computes a score between 350 and 850, a higher score being ideal. Your score is based on your payment history (35%), outstanding debt (30%), length of credit history (15%), new credit (10%), and types of credit (10%).
You can get a free credit report once a year from www.annualcreditreport.com. The information in your credit report comes from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax – the nation's three largest credit bureaus.