You probably know what a credit score is. You might even know your number. But here's what you don't know.

If you need a $20,000 car loan for 60 months, do you know how much extra you’ll pay if your credit score is lousy?

$1,000? $2,000? Even $3,000?

Try $5,000.

If you didn’t know that, you’re in good company – 80 percent of those surveyed didn’t, either.

The Consumer Federation of America works with VantageScore to conduct an annual credit score quiz. One of this year’s most intriguing questions was the one above. Only 20 percent knew (or guessed) the right answer, while “41 percent incorrectly think that the additional charges would be less than $3,000.”

This doesn’t depress me, however.

Credit scores come out of the shadows

That survey shows that even if most Americans are unsure about the details of credit scores, they grasp their overall importance. For instance, when the same survey was conducted last year, 70 percent understood “the importance of checking the accuracy of your scores at the three main credit bureaus.”

This year? It ticked up to 72 percent. If that happens every year, I’ll be one happy CPA.

The survey is most concerned with “knowledge gaps” like the example I mentioned at the beginning of this post. I believe that knowledge will come. Sites like and TV commercials for Credit Karma keep pushing the importance of credit scores.

How to get more out of your score

If you want to become a credit score power user, has assembled what I believe are the easiest-to-read, easiest-to-understand explanations that can literally save you hundreds of dollars…

It might seem odd, but in today’s information society, saving one dollar might not be as important as raising your credit score one point. Don’t neglect this very important number.

Howard Dvorkin is a CPA and chairman of, an educational resource for those who want to conquer all forms of debt in their lives.

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About the Author

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

I’m a certified public accountant who has authored two books on getting out of debt, Credit Hell and Power Up, and I am one of the personal finance experts for I have focused my professional endeavors in the consumer finance, technology, media and real estate industries creating not only, but also Financial Apps and Start Fresh Today, among others. My personal finance advice has been included in countless articles, and has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes and Entrepreneur as well as virtually every national and local newspaper in the country. Everyone should have a reason for living that’s bigger than themselves, and besides my family, mine is this: Teaching Americans how to live happily within their means. To me, money is not the root of all evil. Poor money management is. Money cannot buy happiness, but going into debt always buys misery. That’s why I launched I’m glad you’re here.

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