If you thought grades only mattered in school, think again. A credit score — essentially a grade on your creditworthiness — is a deciding factor in many financial transactions throughout your life.
FICO scores, the most widely used scores, start at 300 and go to 850. Of course, the higher the number, the better. A score of 760 or more is considered the top range, and those borrowers get the best interest rates and terms.
For a $300,000 mortgage, a person with a top score would pay $100 less a month for 30 years than someone with a score of 660, according to myFICO, the consumer division of FICO.