12 There's a score? The “big three” credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) use the information from an individual's credit report to create his/her FICO credit score. Scores range from 300 to 850, and typically break down in the following manner: 720 or higher Excellent 630 – 689 Fair 690 – 719 Good 629 or lower Poor / Bad Most young adults have low credit scores simply because they have not yet established a strong credit history. But a bad credit score can have negative consequences. Your score can mean the difference between being denied or approved for credit—or a loan. It can also mean the difference between getting a low or high interest rate. A good score can help you qualify for an apartment rental, lower your car insurance premiums, or even get a better cell phone plan. And some companies consider credit scores in their hiring decisions. How do people see their credit report and/or score? Anyone can request a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com. Certain banks and credit card companies also offer free credit reports, and sometimes free credit scores. People should avoid companies that provide credit scores but require you to sign up for a credit monitoring service. It's only common sense. Would you be eager to loan money to a friend who has not paid you back for the money you loaned him in the past? Probably not. His past history has shown that he isn’t reliable when it comes to paying his debts. He is a bad credit risk, and he’s going to have a hard time getting any of his friends to loan him money. Just like you, banks and businesses don’t want to loan money or give credit to people who don’t repay their debts. Banks and businesses want to work with people who have a good credit record.