Can You Estimate Your Credit Score?

You already know that you need to have good credit. Do you know that it is almost as important to know your credit score? While you can receive your credit score for free once a year, you shouldn’t ask for it too often because those queries can cost you money and show up on your credit report. Since it is preferable to know your credit score before you apply to receive credit, you may want to try to estimate your credit score. But is that really a good idea?

A quick internet search can lead you to numerous websites that promise to estimate your credit score with a few simple questions. Of course, that means the end result will be dependent on the reliability of your answers. This does nothing for informing you of potential suspicious activity or mistakes that might affect your credit score.

Assuming that there is nothing like that on your credit report, you might still wonder about the accuracy of online credit score estimation. These estimators do not give you an exact number, but a range. If you happen to use more than one of these quizzes to estimate your score, you will probably get some different results. That does not necessarily mean that one is better than the other. In fact, the best way to find the general vicinity of your credit score will probably be to use more than one estimator. That way, you can see a variety of ranges that your score will probably fall into.

Obviously, this is no replacement for an annual, official credit report. This will only reflect information that you already know and can be calculated in slightly different ways than the official score will be. However, if you would just like an idea of where you stand credit wise, this might be a good place to start.

On the other hand, the best way to prepare to apply for a loan or line of credit is to know your three official credit scores. This way you can be prepared for what the lender might offer you in interest, and you can negotiate some if your score is high. Also, knowing what your credit report looks like can help you find problems or discontinuities before you apply for more credit. Being sure is the best preparation for asking for a loan, but sometimes you can look at an estimate if all you need is an idea.

Kari Johnson

Kari Johnson is a first-year student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, having lived in North Carolina her whole life. At UNC, she is a declared Religious Studies major, and intends to study some form of writing as well during her time and Chapel Hill. She plans to graduate in 2014, after participating in undergraduate research and a study abroad program.

Kari discovered the magic of writing early, in elementary school, and has devoted every spare moment to it since. She writes fiction for her own amusement, and recently began writing articles for The Daily Tar Heel in Chapel Hill. Besides writing, she loves spending time with friends and family, reading, and drinking coffee. She defines herself based on her faith in God, her family roots, and her dream of one day publishing a best-selling novel.

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