May 15, 2013 at 3:16 PM ET
Credit scores are critically important. They determine your ability to obtain credit and how much you will pay for it.
A bad score could prevent you from getting a credit card or renting an apartment. It can increase the cost of services, such as cell phone, electric and cable.
And yet, a lot of people don’t know much about credit scores.
A new survey done by the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions finds that:
How can you raise your credit score?
To improve your credit score, do things that show lenders you are trustworthy and a low risk. That includes:
You should check each of your three credit reports for errors at least once a year. It’s free. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com.
To help you learn more about credit scores, the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions have updated their interactive quiz Credit Score Quiz (English) or Credit Score Quiz (Spanish).
During a TODAY Money web chat on Wednesday, John Ulzheimer, president of consumer information at SmartCredit.com explained the ins and outs of credit reports and answered readers questions.