Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is considered a good or a bad credit score?

Each credit rating agency uses a different range for reporting the strength or weaknesses of scores. The lower the score the worse it is and likewise the higher the number the stronger the score is. Each bureau tabulates the score differently with the same data in order. This score is called the FICO score and ranges between 300 and 850. According to Experian, a score over 700 is ideal.

How often should someone check their credit score?

Americans are able to request a credit score for free once a year from each credit bureau. It’s advisable to check your score at least once a year and if possible sign up for alerts that will signal if something has occurred that may impact your credit score.

How much money does it cost to check your credit score?

Each credit agency allows consumers to request a free copy of their credit score once a year.

What exactly is a credit score used for in addition to borrowing?

Credit scores aren’t just used for borrowing money or requesting credit cards. A credit score may also be requested by a potential new employer.


Managing your credit score is an ongoing process. Understanding the following key aspects to credit management such as paying your bills on time, not using too much credit and what is a good credit score will help you save money the next time you apply for a loan. If you’re an entrepreneur there are other avenues to request business loans and other financial tools especially if your personal credit score needs work.  Put simply, the stronger your credit score the less you’ll pay in interest rates that impact the cost of your borrowing.

About the Authors

Michelle Jackson

Written by: Michelle Jackson

Freelance Financial Writer and Online Business Coach

Michelle Jackson is the host of the podcast "Michelle is Money Hungry." Her goal is to transform people's financial lives through increased financial knowledge.

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Somer G. Anderson, Ph.D.

Reviewed by: Somer G. Anderson Ph.D., CPA

Accounting and Finance Professor

Somer G. Anderson has been working in the Accounting and Finance industries for over 20 years as a financial statement auditor, a finance manager in a large healthcare organization, and a Finance and Accounting professor at Maryville University.

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Chip Stapleton

Fact checked by: Chip Stapleton

Finance Manager

Chip Stapleton is a Series 7 and Series 66 license holder, CFA Level 1 exam holder, and currently holds a Life, Accident, and Health License in Indiana. He has 8 years of experience in finance, from financial planning and wealth management to corporate finance and FP&A.

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