Interest rates, finance charges, credit reports and scores, that's a language Mike D'Amato from Nissan of North Olmsted's been speaking since the 1980's.
D'Amato says in the car business those scores are used to put customers into one of four or five tiers, which ultimately, determine how much you'll pay for the interest on your car loan.
A score of 730 and above will land you in tier zero, where close to half of us land. That's a good thing because it'll get you a better interest rate.
Tiers three and four, on the other hand, are reserved for folks with scores in the low 600's, not a good place to be.
So what's counting against you?
D'Amato says he's seen credit reports ruined by unpaid balances that amount to nothing, like $20 or $30.
"So even those $20 bills don't let them lag, or these medical bills you might be in debate with, don't let those things lapse because they do count against you, there's no doubt," said D'Amato.
Another huge mistake, according to D'Amato, is shopping all over town for something you want and having your credit run at each place. That is especially common when you shop for a car.
Financing experts say all those inquiries make you look like a credit seeker.
No matter what you intend to buy, narrow your choice to one merchant before allowing anyone to run your credit.