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July 12, 2017

When borrowing money for large purchases, your credit history will generally have a significant impact on your ability to get a loan and the terms of the loan. Each individual has his or her own credit score so when applying jointly, the creditor will scrutinize both scores.

Credit scores range from approximately 300 to 850. When locking in an interest rate, the higher the score, the better the terms of credit you are likely to receive. You may be surprised to know you have more than one credit score. The credit scores are based on the information in your credit reports that are compiled by three large consumer reporting companies. These three credit bureaus use slightly different statistical models so your score will look differently from each bureau. Lenders choose the credit bureau they work with, so you may experience different criteria from different lenders and receive different lending terms.

Your credit scores and credit reports are available by calling 877-322-8228 or by going to There are different options to access your credit information. Some are free of charge and others may cost you to receive the information you are looking for.

What helps and hurts a credit score? Payment history, amount owed or credit utilization, length of credit history, type of credit and new credit inquiries are all taken into consideration. Good credit management leads to higher credit scores, when in turn lowers your cost to borrow and puts money in your pocket. It is important to live within your means, use debt wisely and pay bills on time and every time.

The above information was taken from

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Additional information is available by contacting Janell at the Chouteau County Extension Office at 622-3036, or in the Chouteau County Courthouse at 1308 Franklin St in Fort Benton.

Montana State University, US Department of Agriculture and Montana Counties Cooperating. MSU Extension is an equal opportunity/affirmative action provider of educational outreach.


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