Credit: More than just a score [Infographic]

As time progresses, the more we realize just how important our personal credit score is to our ability to achieve our goals — whether personally or professionally. An individual’s credit report — and, more specifically, credit score — can affect their ability to purchase a myriad of things from vehicles to homes and, yes, even surety bonds. Low credit scores often result in higher interest rates on loans or higher premiums for certain products, which means individuals who have had problems with credit in the past often end up paying much more than those with strong financial credentials.

When the three major credit reporting companies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) calculate credit scores, they consider payment history, amount owed, length of credit history, new credit and types of credit. The final number does not account for any personal information such as income, gender, race/ethnicity, etc.

Credit reporting company Experian reported that the average credit score for the U.S. in 2012 was 687. This number falls into the “good” section of the credit scale. However, the average credit score for half of the states in the U.S. fell into the “average” spectrum of the credit. In 2012, Minnesota had the highest average credit score in the country at 718.

Despite the fact that our personal credit scores directly impact many aspects of both our personal and professional lives, few people really understand the factors that can affect our credit — whether positively or negatively. To help bridge this gap, has developed this infographic to visualize the importance of understanding not only your credit score but your credit history as a whole.


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About the Author

Jon Gottschalk
Jon Gottschalk is the Senior Marketing Director for and regularly blogs at the Surety Bond Insider to keep consumers informed on new legislation and updates in the commercial surety industry. He is also a licensed property & casualty insurance producer in Missouri.