Credit Score FAQ’s

What is a credit score?

credit score is a three-digit number, typically between 300 and 850, designed to represent your credit risk, or the likelihood you will pay your bills on time.

How old do you have to be to start building credit?

There is no minimum age to start building credit, but most financial agencies have age limits for loans and credit cards. Typically, 18 is the age requirement to get a credit card or loan in your own name. There is the option of adding your child as a co-signer on your accounts. This helps them build credit early and lets them experience monthly payments and financial responsibility. It is never too early to start talking about financial responsibility. For more information, see our post Helping Children Be Financially Responsible.

What is a credit reporting agency?

A credit reporting agency, also known as credit bureaus or consumer reporting agencies, are companies that compile information about borrowing and repayment history.  Your financial institution may report to one or all of the major reporting agencies. The 3 major credit reporting agencies are:

Trans Union



Is my personal information protected?     

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that provides directions and limits on how credit reporting companies disclose credit report information. FCRA also has provisions regulating users of consumer reports and furnishers of information to credit reporting companies. For example, the FCRA permits credit reporting companies to provide credit reports only to those users who have a permissible purpose listed in the law.

Can I get a copy of my own personal credit report?

You are entitled to one free credit report annually. You can request the report from your financial institution if you have recently acquired a loan or new credit card. Certain companies also offer your report for a fee. Memberships can be purchased that usually include credit reporting, credit repair and credit monitoring.

What is a “good” credit score?

For a score with a range between 300-850, a credit score of 700 or above is generally considered good. A score of 800 or above on the same range is considered to be excellent. Most credit scores fall between 600 and 750. Higher scores represent better credit decisions and can make creditors more confident that you will repay your future debts as agreed.

What increases my credit score?

  • Keep balances low, or pay off credit cards
  • Make payments on time
  • Only apply for credit when it’s absolutely needed
  • Limit the number of credit lines open
  • Keep credit cards open that have a zero balance
  • Limit the inquiries on your credit
  • Watch your credit and check for errors or discrepancies

What decreases my credit score?

  • Late payments
  • Large revolving balances
  • Too many inquiries
  • Too many lines of credit open
  • Closing long time existing credit lines

Does marriage affect my credit score?

Credit is reported individually. Your spouse’s score would not affect yours. You may apply for a loan or credit with your spouse, each will be looked at separately.  If your spouse has a low credit score, you might result in a decline. You could be joint on a loan and build up your spouse’s score by making payments on time and keeping a low balance or paying it off.

If you have any more questions about credit, you can contact our loan department at 801-399-9728