Fast Fact

692
The average credit score in the United States, according to Experian.

Know Your Credit Score

Your credit score is important because it shows lenders how responsible you are with money and it can impact your ability to take out student loans, specifically private (alternative) loans.

Every lender has different credit requirements. If you have a good credit score (generally above 700), you will have an easier time getting a loan, since lenders will see that you are likely to pay it back. And the better your score, the more likely you are to get lower interest rates. So, before you sign on the dotted line, do some research and make sure you are getting the best loan terms that are available.

Surprisingly, your income does not affect your credit score at all. But more than 25 other factors do, including:

If you are looking to increase your credit score, below are a few tips you should follow.

In the United States, there are three nationwide consumer reporting agencies:

Check your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies. It's free, although they may charge you a fee for your actual credit score (sometimes called a "FICO® score").

Look at your annual credit report to ensure all of the information is correct and you have no disputes with the data.

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