EAST TEXAS (KYTX) -- When Sheena Crayton asked for a home loan, she got some sobering news.
"I had a lot of things when I was younger," she said. "It caught up with me. I had to find out what my credit score was. It was not great."
So Crayton did some digging. She pulled her credit report but discovered her credit score didn't come free.
"Credit score is very important," Khadijah Smith, America's Mortgage in Longview, said. "That's what a lot of lenders look at when they're determining risk factor."
Smith said your credit score is based on what's in your report -- from credit card debt to auto loans to late payments. So it makes sense to have both.
While the score ranges from 300 to 900 -- 900 being the best -- most people fall between the 500 and 800 range.
"Your credit score is going to be a ranking of how well you're able to establish credit and maintain credit," Smith said.
Lobbyists affiliated with Consumer Reports magazine are pushing Congress to include a free credit score when you get your annual free credit report. You will be able to see if anyone is using a credit card under your name.
"We do live in the age of identity theft and fraud," Smith said.
It's also a reflection of your character
"As an employer they're going to want to see how you pay you're responsibilities," Smith said. "You don't get a good score for doing nothing."
Smith said make your payments on time, and keep your balances within 20 percent of your credit limit.
Richard Trelles KYTX CBS 19