Credit Score Calculator Basics Your credit rating plays an important role in your life. Those with high credit scores can obtain loans and low interest rates to pay the loans back. Those with below-average credit scores may struggle to obtain loans and, if they do manage to get them approved, they can pay much higher interest rates while paying them back. You are entitled to ask for your credit score one time per year free of charge (as stipulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act--FCRA). Otherwise, you can use a credit score calculator to help you get an idea of where you stand in the credit game. If you're considering buying a home or taking out a bank loan for any type of purchase, you'll need to know your credit score. It's not hard to find a credit score calculator online. These calculators will give you a score based on the detailed information that you provide. Your score will range from 300 to approximately 850 (the average American credit score is estimated to be about 690) and factors that influence your score are how timely you pay your bills, how many other credit cards and loans you have, the rate of interest you are currently being charged and how long you have had established credit. Once you have this score, you'll know if you should work on paying off some debts before asking for a loan. The three major credit bureaus that figure out your credit scores are Equifax (which uses the BEACON method), Experian (which uses the Fair Isaac Risk Model), and TransUnion which uses the EMPIRICA method). All of these models are just variations of the FICO method which was established, with the help of these three credit bureaus, by the Fair Isaac company in the 1980. Other lenders may also have their own scoring methods which add in additional information such as your income or how long you've been with the same company. You will be able to find a calculator for each of the above mentioned methods. The scores may vary a little bit but in general, they should all be within the same range. Banks will usually take a look at all three credit scores before making a decision about whether or not to offer you a loan, what type of loan to give you, and how much interest to charge you. But keep in mind that calculators are just to be used as estimators. Your bank or lender will perform a much more detailed analysis on your credit status to come up with their own personalizes score. A credit score calculator can be used together with your lender's calculators so that you can work out what your monthly payments will be after you've secured the amount of the loan. As you improve your credit, you can check the calculators periodically to see if you may qualify for lower interest rates.