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Credit Reports & Scores

Making Sense of Your Credit Score

It pays to know your number -- and how to boost it. Test your credit-score savvy with our QUIZ.

Do you know your credit score? If so, you're probably well aware of how important it is to your finances.

Most of us, however, know our credit score about as well as we know the GDP of Guatemala. In fact, about 70% of consumers don't know their score, according to a survey by HSBC, and half don't even know what goes into their score.

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QUIZ: Do You Know the Score on Your Credit?

Boost Your Credit Score

Why Your Credit Score Matters

This three-digit number is tied inseparably to your financial life, so it pays to get acquainted. Your credit score boils down the info on your credit report -- that laundry list of how much you owe lenders and how well you manage your debts. Basically, your credit score rates you on how responsible you are with money.

It can influence your ability to buy a home, take out a car loan and get a low rate on your credit card. It can also play a role in how much you'll pay for insurance and impact your ability to rent an apartment, get a cell phone contract or even land a job. Bottom line: A poor score can cost you hundreds -- and possibly thousands -- of dollars.

We've pulled together a QUIZ to see how well you understand credit scores and what can help -- or hurt them. You just might learn something that'll save you money.

TAKE OUR QUIZ: Do You Know the Score on Your Credit?