Editorial Policy

About Your Credit History

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By Eva Norlyk Smith, Ph.D.
May 22, 2009

When you apply for a credit card, the credit card company uses your credit score and the information in your credit report to decide whether or not to approve your application. Your credit report contains information about your current debt load, your history of repaying past loans, and whether or not you have ever defaulted on payment of bills, credit cards, or any other kind of loan payment. Based on this information, lenders determine if you meet their criteria for an acceptable credit risk, and make their decision accordingly.

A high credit score and a good credit history will give you financial flexibility and can help lower your costs of living. If your credit score is lower, there are ways to improve it. The information on the next few pages will answer any questions you may have about your credit report and how to obtain a free copy of your report.