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What is a Credit Score?

A credit score is a single numerical score, based on an individual's credit history, that measures that individual's credit worthiness. The most widely used credit score is called FICO for Fair Isaac Corp., the company that developed it.

The model used to calculate your score looks at many factors. In general, these may include:

  • Your credit card history;
  • Amount of outstanding debt;
  • The type of credit you use;
  • Negative information such as bankruptcies or late payments;
  • Collection accounts and judgments; and
  • Whether you have too little credit or too much credit and have borrowed nearly as much as your credit limit.
To learn more about the factors than can affect your credit score, visit the FICO score simulator
NOTE: Credit scores are not stored as part of your credit history. Rather, scores are generated at the time a lender requests your credit report and then included with the report.
Correcting Inaccuracies

Remember, a credit score is only as accurate as the information contained in your credit report, so be sure to request a copy of your credit report each year from the three major credit reporting agencies. (More information...)

If you find an error, the credit reporting agency must investigate and respond to you within 30 days.


How to Get Your Credit Score

Credit scores are available through the credit reporting agencies. (Cost per score ranges from $15 to $40, depending on the agency.)



Under the recently enacted federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act, a mortgage lender must disclose to a consumer the credit score obtained by the lender from a credit reporting agency used in making a lending decision.

OPRA is a state law that was enacted to give the public greater access to government records maintained by public agencies in New Jersey.
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New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance