1.   What is Credit?

Credit is when you receive money, a good, or a service, and you agree to pay for it in the future-usually with added interest. Nowadays, we use credit to buy lots of things, from houses and cars to groceries and clothing.

If you use it responsibly, credit can be a useful tool. But if you don't, you'll have to face some negative consequences that will make your life harder.  Learn more about credit.

2.   What is a Credit Score

Your credit score is a 3-digit number on a scale of 300 to 850 that suggests how creditworthy you are meaning, how good you are with credit and how much you can be trusted to pay back what you borrow. Potential lenders will use this number to decide what kinds of credit cards and loans to offer you. Generally, the higher the score, the better the offers.

There are a few different types of scores, but the two best-known are your FICO Score and your VantageScore. They're calculated based on the information that shows up on your credit report. Learn more about FICO scores and VantageScores

3.   What is a Good Credit Score?

Generally speaking, there are five tiers of credit score. A good credit score is anything above 670. Learn more about what makes a good credit score.

4.   What is a Bad Credit Score?

Anything below 670 is considered poor or only fair credit. Learn more about bad credit.

5.   What Actions Hurt my Credit?

Your credit can be brought down a lot faster than it can be brought up, so it might help to review these things that can hurt your credit:
- Not paying bills on time
- Filing for bankruptcy or foreclosure
- Applying for too many credit accounts
- Carrying high balances on your credit cards
- Ignoring questionable negative items on your report

Learn more about how you can fix bad credit.

6.   How Can I Improve my Credit?

There are five main contributors to your credit score-payment history, amount of debt, length of credit history, credit mix, and new credit. Managing your credit wisely by paying your bills on time, paying debt down, and maintaining your current accounts could improve your score.

Beyond these five factors, your credit could contain negative items that are unfair or inaccurate, which can stay on your reports for up to seven to 10 years. If you don't want to wait that long, you can try repairing your credit. Learn more about building credit online, or contact Royal Services to get signed up today.

7.   Why Do I Have More Than One Credit Score?

We often refer to credit scores as a single number, but that's not actually the case. Each of the three credit bureaus gives you a customized credit score based on the information on your credit report, and you have a FICO® Score as well Learn more about types of credit scores.

8.   How High Can my Score Go? How Low?

Credit scores range from 300 - 850. Learn more about credit score ranges.

9.   What Are The Three Credit Bureaus?

The three main credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. When lenders want to see your credit report, they will request it from one or more of these reporting agencies.

Your report and score can differ from bureau to bureau because they don't always have the same information, so we recommend you check each report separately to confirm that everything is on the up-and-up. Learn more about credit bureaus.

10.   What is a Credit Bureau?

Essentially, a credit bureau is a company that tracks your ability to pay. They collect information relating to your financial habits, then make this information available to lending institutions and credit card companies. There are three credit bureaus-Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Learn more about credit bureaus.

11.   How Do I know What my Credit Score is?

There are plenty of services that will provide you with your credit score for a small fee, but at Royal Services we'll do it for $1. Just contact Royal Services to get started.

12.   Are Credit Reports and Credit Scores the Same Thing?

No, your credit score is just one piece of your credit report. Your credit report also includes identifying information, tradelines, credit history, credit inquiries, public records, collections, and other late payment information. Learn more about credit reports.

13.   What Impacts My Credit Score?

There are five main factors to your credit score-payment history, credit usage, credit age, credit mix, and recent credit. Your payment history is the biggest contributor on the list and can be directly affected by credit repair. Learn more about what affects your credit score.

14.   What's On my Credit Report?

Your credit report contains things like your identifying information, tradelines, credit limits, account names, credit history, credit inquiries, public records, collections, late payment information, and of course, and your credit score. Learn how to read a credit report.

15.   Do Employers Look At my Credit Score? Could it Cost Me a Job?

Short answer? Maybe. Employers are allowed by federal law to see a modified version of your credit report for purposes of hiring and promotion, meaning it could cost you a job or promotion. Learn what they can see on a credit report.

16.   What Age Should my Credit Be?

How long you've had access to credit can affect your credit score, but there's no specific amount of time required. Generally, the longer you've had a tradeline, the better. Learn more about credit age.

17.   What Score Do I Need To Get a House?

There are many factors that go into being approved for a mortgage, but you'll need at least a score of 640 to be approved for a traditional home loan.

18.   What Score Do I Need To Get a Car?

The minimum accepted score for a car loan will depend on the amount of money being requested, but some lenders will approve scores as low as 500-assuming you don't mind paying extra money in interest. Learn more about auto loans and credit scores.

19.   What Score Do I Need To Get a Personal Loan?

While that depends on the amount you're asking for, you can get a personal loan with a score as low as 500 - assuming you don't mind paying extra money in interest.

20.   Who Has Access to My Credit Report?

Your credit report is generally only looked at by those who are considering loaning you money, like a bank, car dealership, or credit card issuer.

21.   What is a FICO® Score?

Your FICO® Score is a three-digit number determined by the information on your credit report. While FICO® doesn't collect the data themselves, it's their algorithm that determines your score. Considering their score is used in 90% of all lending decisions, it's very helpful to know where you stand. Learn more about FICO® Scores.

22.  How Do I Get My Free Credit Report?

The credit bureaus have to provide you with a free credit report every 12 months-it's the law. You can claim this free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com, or by calling 1-877-322-8228. You will need to provide your name, address, Social Security Number, and date of birth to verify your identity.

Outside of this official source, there are many other services that will provide you with your credit score for FREE (including us). You can contact Royal Services today, and we'll provide you with your score and a credit summary, all for free.