This Letter to the Editors was submitted by Mary Kate Sershen, a Senior at Concordia College.
“What’s in a credit score?”
“Where does a credit score come from?”
“Why does it matter?”
A credit score is a number, between 300-850, that serves as an indicator of a person’s “creditworthiness.” Put more simply, your credit score is most often seen as a sign of how responsible you have been with money that you have borrowed in the past; the higher your score, the better it is. Your credit score can play an important role in your life, due to the fact that money lenders (banks, credit unions, etc.) that you borrow money from (for a car, house, boat, education and so on) will typically decide what interest rate they’re going to charge you for a loan based on how responsible you are with borrowed money (as represented by your credit score). Keep in mind, having no credit history is viewed similarly to having poor credit history. Having a good credit score versus a bad credit score may only make a difference of a couple percentage points on your loan interest rate, but when you’re buying a $375,000 home with a 30-year mortgage, the difference between having an interest rate of 4% and 6% is $164,886.27 in total interest paid! That would be your money to keep rather than paying it to the lender. That’s just for the house. Think about adding other potential purchases that a person might loan money for. To learn more about how your credit score is calculated and how you can improve it, go to www.myfico.com/CreditEducation.