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In today's world, if you want to make a large purchase, like a house or (for our purposes) a car, odds are you'll be dependent on your credit score. That's why it's important to know what your credit score is, how it's determined, and what it means. Whether you're an old timer learning something new or a young adult looking at their first car or house, here's what you need to know.

Credit scores range from extremely high risk, 350, to extremely low risk, 850. The higher your credit score, the easier it will be to get a loan. While you can still get a loan with a lower credit score, you'll more than likely face higher interest rates due to the lender's increased risk in the loan.

A credit score is determined by a variety of factors, each of which is weighted differently. 35% of your credit score is based on your previous credit performance. This means you've paid off your past debts in a timely manner.

30% of your credit score comes from how much debt you currently have. 30% of your credit is broken evenly at 15% each to how long you've had credit and what types of credit are available to you. The final 5% depends on how often you apply for more credit.

To round things up, pay off your debt on time and avoid opening new lines of credit if you don't need them. All in all, you should be set to go with a high credit score, making your life that much easier.