Money

Credit Score Surgery: What is my credit score and why does it matter?

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Welcome to the Credit Score Surgery, where every week we tackle an important financial quandary…

Money talks - but sometimes, it can be hard to know exactly what it’s saying.

In an effort to bypass the jargon and help each other get to grips with our wallets, we’ve taken one confusing financial query and found the answer to it.

This week, we’re helping those who are struggling to get their head around what a credit score even is and why it matters. 

Seriously, WTF is a credit score?

I keep hearing my friends talk about their credit scores, but I haven’t got a clue about mine. To be honest, I don’t really know what a credit score actually is.

What does my credit score mean for me? And assuming it’s something I should be on top of, how do I keep track of it?

Sorry to say it, but your friends are right… getting to know your credit score and, in particular, what actually affects it is pretty important.

In a nutshell, a credit score is a number that gives a snapshot of your credit health and an indication of how reliable you are with credit, based on a whole range of information held by credit reference agencies.

Having a good credit score can make a big difference when it comes to tackling some of life’s bigger landmarks.

Say you want to start your own business – if you applied for a loan, you’re likely to find a lender will check your credit score. If it’s in good shape, it should put you in a better position to be accepted.

Same goes for buying a property. When it comes to getting a mortgage, a strong credit score can help you gain access to better rates on borrowing.

It’s not just the big stuff, either.

Even when you take out a mobile phone contract, your credit score is checked. So it’s best to know how yours is looking and how it all actually works!

Fortunately, it’s easy to keep up to date and understand your score with services that demystify it for you - like CreditWise from Capital One. 

Totally free to use, it’s a handy tool designed to help you understand what’s impacting your score and to track changes over time.

Better still, it won’t affect your credit score, no matter how many times you check it.

When it comes to your personal finances, knowledge is power, so start getting to know your credit score now!.

Good luck!

To find out your credit score, see your full report and find out what’s affecting it for free, visit CreditWise from Capital One.