Your credit score, which is a reflection of your credit report, is also based on factors such as the length of your credit history, the types of credit you have and how often you apply for new credit.
The commonly used FICO scores range from around 300 to 850. A score below around 650 is considered problematic, while an excellent score of around 750 or above will get you the best rates. The prime range, in which you'll typically at least qualify for loans, is around 700 and up.
CompareCards also asked respondents, "Would you be willing to give a lender access to your checking or savings account information if you thought it would give you a better chance of being approved for a loan from that lender?"
Around 1 in 3 said they'd be willing. Men were more likely than women to agree. This is notable because, in October, FICO announced that it will launch a new scoring system, the UltraFICO score, that will let consumers link their checking and savings account information to their credit report.
Jim Wehmann, the executive vice president of scores at FICO, called the new system, which is slated to become available this year, "a game changer." Consumers who fall into the "problematic" range, as well as those with limited credit history, can expect their scores to jump the most as a result of the overhaul.
If giving lenders access to that much private information makes you squeamish, though, you don't need to do it. You can still build up your credit score through responsible financial behavior.
"People tend to see credit as this mysterious, unknowable beast," says Matt Schulz, the chief industry analyst at CompareCards. "The truth is, it's not."
Don't miss: 3 myths about what affects your credit score that FICO wants to clear up for you
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