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What Is a Credit Score? Definition, Factors, and Ways to Raise It

A credit score is a quantitative indicator of a person's creditworthiness. Lenders use it to determine the risk involved in making a loan. Continue reading to learn more.

  • May 25, 2023

An individual’s creditworthiness is represented numerically by their credit score. It is used by lenders, creditors, and financial institutions to assess the risk of lending money or extending credit to an individual. A good credit score can make it easier for an individual to obtain loans, credit cards, or mortgages with favorable terms and interest rates.

    Key takeaways

  • A credit score is a number that is used to represent your credit history and current financial standing. It ranges from 300 to 850.
  • The higher your credit score, the more likely you will receive favorable interest rates and loan terms from lenders.
  • A good credit score is crucial in determining your eligibility for loans and mortgages, as well as the interest rates you’ll receive.
  • Individuals with better credit score can get higher coverage and easy issuance.

What is a Good Credit Score?

A credit score is a number that ranges from 300 to 850 and is used to represent your credit history and current financial standing. The higher your credit score, the more likely you will receive favorable interest rates and loan terms from lenders. On the other hand, a low credit score can impact your ability to obtain credit and lead to higher interest rates, making it more expensive to borrow money.

The score you get is based on the information contained in your credit report, which is a comprehensive record of your credit history. Your credit report includes information on your accounts, such as credit cards, loans, and mortgages, as well as payment history and outstanding balances.

How to Check Your Credit Score?

As a consumer, you must regularly check your credit score to ensure that your financial health is good. Your credit score plays a major role in determining your financial future, including the ability to secure loans, credit cards, and even rental applications.

Step 1: Obtain a Free Credit Report

The first step to checking your credit score is to obtain a free credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. By law, you are entitled to one free credit report per year from each credit bureau. You can obtain this report through the official website

Step 2: Review Your Credit Report

Once you have received your credit report, it’s essential to review it thoroughly for any inaccuracies or errors. Look for discrepancies in personal information, such as your name, address, or social security number, and any incorrect information about your credit history, such as missed payments or incorrect account balances. As soon as you discover any inaccuracies, notify the credit bureau.

Step 3: Check Your Credit Score

Your credit report will not include your actual credit score. You can obtain your score for a fee from the credit bureaus or a third-party credit monitoring service. Alternatively, many credit card companies now offer free credit scores to their customers. Remember that your score may vary slightly between the different bureaus, so it’s essential to check all three.

Step 4: Analyze Your Credit Score

Once you have your credit score, it’s essential to understand what it means. A score of 720 or higher is considered excellent, while a score of 660 to 719 is considered good. A score of 620 to 659 is considered fair, while a score of 600 to 619 is considered poor. If your score is lower than 600, it’s important to take action to improve it.

Credit Score Range

What it Implies

720 or higher








Below 600

Very Poor

Step 5: Improve Your Credit Score

If your credit score is low, there are several steps you can take to improve it. Pay your bills on time, pay down your debt, and limit new credit applications. You can also dispute any inaccuracies on your credit report, which can significantly impact your score.

Does Credit Score affect your life insurance purchase?

While a few insurance companies may review your actual credit report, the majority rely on credit score for assessing creditworthiness. A credit score is a number depicting the overall health of your credit profile at a specific moment. Insurance companies and organizations developing credit scoring models take into account various factors to calculate credit scores.

Typically, individuals with higher scores are considered more financially responsible. The primary factors commonly considered include major negative items such as bankruptcy, collections, foreclosures, liens, and charge-offs, as well as past payment history, including the number and frequency of late payments and the duration between the due date and actual payment date.

Does Credit Score affect your life insurance premium?

While your credit may not directly affect the life insurance premium you need to pay, it certainly can be one of the many factors that affect your overall insurance experience. When you apply for an insurance cover, the insurance company will check your financial background and credit score is one of the ways of checking your financial health. Insurance agency uses your credit score to judge your HLV (Human Life Value) and decide your credibility.

If your credit score is strong, it gives the company a sign that you are financially fit and also gives them aa better picture of your income. This in turn reduces paperwork because if the issuing insurance firm finds the credit score satisfying, they won’t ask for income proof evidence and the process of purchasing life cover gets easier.

Individuals with better credit score can get higher coverage and easy issuance.

How Insurance companies use your Credit Scores?

Insurance companies utilize credit information as part of their underwriting process, which involves assessing whether to issue a new policy or renew an existing one, as well as determining the appropriate insurance premium. Credit information is considered by most insurance companies as a factor in calculating the insurance rate. In addition to credit scores, insurers take into account other traditional rating factors such as financial credit records and claims history.

How Can Insurance Help Improve Credit Scores?

Insurance is an essential aspect of financial planning and stability, but it can also positively impact your credit score. A good credit score is crucial in determining your eligibility for loans and mortgages, as well as the interest rates you’ll receive. Here are five ways insurance can help improve your credit score.

Demonstrating Financial Responsibility

Insuring your assets, such as your home, car, or other valuable possessions, shows that you are responsible and take your financial obligations seriously. This is because insurance companies typically require you to pay premiums on time, and a history of timely payments is a positive signal to credit bureaus.

Payment History

Consistently paying your insurance premiums on time will improve your payment history, which is a major component of your credit score. Late payments, however, can damage your credit score, so it’s crucial to make sure you pay your premiums on time.

Credit Utilization

Your credit utilization ratio, the amount of credit you use compared to your credit limit, also significantly determines your credit score. Some insurance policies allow you to pay your premiums on a monthly basis, which can help you avoid over-utilizing your credit card or loan, thereby improving your credit utilization ratio.

Credit Mix

Having a mix of different types of credit, such as installment loans, credit cards, and insurance policies, can also improve your credit score. This is because it shows that you can handle various types of credit responsibly, and it demonstrates your financial stability and ability to manage debt.

Length of Credit History

The length of your credit history also affects your credit score, so taking out insurance policies and keeping them active for an extended period of time can improve your credit history and, in turn, your credit score.

Wrapping up

A credit score is a crucial factor in an individual’s financial health and stability. Understanding what it is and how it is calculated can help individuals take the necessary steps to improve their credit scores and secure their financial future. By paying insurance premiums on time and protecting their assets, individuals can demonstrate their ability to manage their finances responsibly to lenders and creditors.

In this policy, the investment risk in the investment portfolio is borne by the policyholder.

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Ref. No. KLI/22-23/E-BB/521


- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

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