A credit score is a number that third parties, especially lenders, use to assess the risk of lending you money. The score is one way banks, credit card companies and other institutions assess the likelihood that you can or will be able to pay off any debts you accumulate. A higher credit score indicates that your current financial circumstances and your historical behavior demonstrate a willingness and ability to pay off any loans you may be approved for.
In the United States the credit scoring system you will hear about most is the FICO score, a score used by the major credit agencies to rate your creditworthiness. Your FICO score will be between 300 and 850 with a higher score being better. When it comes to your credit, lenders may sometimes refer to it in terms of Credit Level or Credit Quality such as Poor, Fair/Average, Good or Excellent with each category referring to a range of FICO scores.