The credit scorers select certain characteristics that you share with others who have (or have not) paid their bills as scheduled; then, based on these selected characteristics, the scorer's mathematical formula assigns you a number. Supposedly, this assessment accurately gauges the risks you present to the lender—but it doesn't. Why? Because you are a unique individual. Although you share some similarities with this computer sample of borrowers, you also differ in many ways of which the credit scoring programs know nothing. These unaccounted-for differences may give you more (or less) borrowing credibility than your credit score indicates.
Credit scores parallel SAT scores and other college admissions tests. If you fail to register a top score, you can kiss Stanford good-bye—unless, that is, you write a superlative admissions essay and bolster your application with distinguishing achievements (and, of course, a big donation from your rich uncle wouldn't hurt your chances).
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