You've probably heard about it. You know it's important, but your credit score can be confusing if you don't know exactly what it is and how it's calculated. Most importantly, it can impact your life. A credit score is used for many purposes, and getting a solid understanding of it will help you out tremendously along the way. For example, an employer may check when applying for a job; landlords use it as a reference point for a rental applications; utility companies can use it in determining to do business with you; but more importantly it is used by financial institutions in deciding whether or not to provide you with a loan or credit card, for how much and at what interest rate.