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Can You Pass This Tricky Credit Score Quiz?

This quiz just might teach you something new.

Credit can be super confusing, but it's also an important tool that you'll need throughout your life to take out a loan, rent an apartment, or buy a car. So even though it might not be the most exciting topic, understanding how credit scores work will help you out in the long run.

NBC / Via giphy.com

As you go through this quiz, don't sweat it if you don't know the answers yet! Just make your best guess and then we'll tell you what you need to know.

  1. There's only one kind of credit score, right?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    There are several different credit scoring systems out there.

    But if you're in the United States, one score rules them all when the time comes for you to apply for a loan, open a credit card, or rent an apartment: the FICO score. According to FICO, 90% of top lenders use their scoring model to make lending decisions. Which means that when you apply for credit or a loan, your FICO score will probably get pulled.

    Via New Line Cinema/Giphy/giphy.com
  2. What does a credit score look like?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    It's all about the numbers.

    Your credit score is a three digit number, usually between 300 and 850.

    Via Warner Bros. Pictures/Giphy/giphy.com
  3. Which of these numbers is a "good" FICO credit score?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    A "good" FICO score is between 670 and 739.

    Credit scores come in several ranges: poor, fair, good, very good, and exceptional.

    Via NBC/Giphy/giphy.com
  4. Does checking your credit score hurt your credit?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Nope, it doesn't.

    You can look at your credit score all day long without losing a single point, because when you check your own credit, it's only a "soft inquiry." However, when you apply for new loans or credit cards and financial institutions pull your credit report, this is called a "hard inquiry" — and applying for lots of new credit can hurt your score. But again, you can't hurt your score by taking a look.

    Via CBC/Giphy/giphy.com
  5. Does everyone have a credit score?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    If you've never used credit, you might not have a credit score yet.

    So yeah, if you go to pull your credit score and there's nothing there, that doesn't mean you're a ghost. But it could mean that you might want to look into ways to responsibly build your credit, like taking out a secured credit card.

    Via NBC/Giphy/giphy.com
  6. Which of these is NOT one of the five factors that affect your FICO
    credit score?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Your income doesn't factor into your credit score.

    Instead, your score is based on information on your credit report about your payment history, credit utilization, credit mix, length of credit history, and recent applications for new credit.

    Via NBC/Giphy/giphy.com
  7. When you pay off a credit card, should you close the account?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Think twice before you close that account.

    Closing a credit card can actually hurt your credit score, which seems like the opposite of what you might expect. Here's the thing: When you close an account, it potentially changes the average age of your accounts, your credit utilization, and your credit mix — all of which can shave precious points off your score.

    Via Viceland/Giphy/giphy.com
  8. Is your credit score permanent or subject to change?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Your credit scores are always fluctuating.

    As you make purchases, pay off debt, take out new credit, or close old accounts, your credit score keeps going up and down. While it can take time to make big improvements in your score, it's definitely doable!

    Via Disney/Giphy/giphy.com
  9. What has the biggest impact on your credit score?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Payment history makes up 35% of your FICO credit score — which means that paying your bills on time is key to good credit.

    Your credit utilization, or how much of your available credit you're actually using, contributes another 30%. Then the length of your credit history chips in 15%, while your new credit and credit mix each make up 10%.

    Via TLC/Giphy/giphy.com
  10. Which of these is a way to improve your credit score?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Slashing credit card debt cuts your credit utilization and might help your score.

    Psst, if credit card debt is bumming you out, these debt-slaying tips might help.

    Via ABC/Giphy/giphy.com
  11. Which of these things can hurt your credit score?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Hitting your credit limit can damage your credit score.

    This happens because maxing out your card increases your credit utilization — causing lenders to see you as a "riskier" borrower.

    Via AMC/Giphy/giphy.com
  12. Is having a student loan bad for your credit score?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Having a student loan doesn't hurt your credit.

    As long as you make timely payments and keep your loan in good standing, it could even help your score.

    Via NBC/Giphy/giphy.com

Got money on your mind? Check out more of our personal finance posts.

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