This past week I received a number of phone calls, e-mails and faxes concerning an article I had written in AgLender magazine concerning credit scores.
Everyone reading this column needs to check his or her score at least once a year. The scores are being used for credit acceptance or denial, to determine the interest rate you will be charged, insurance qualification and rates, and in some cases, employment character checks.
Your score can range from 300 to 900. A score of about 700 is considered good, while 600 and below will be examined by creditors and risk examiners with a critical eye.
Factors that can impact your score include:
Current level of indebtedness
Length of credit history
Credit payment history
Time since having credit problems
Credit limits on your credit cards
Use of credit
Pursuit of new credit over a short period of time
Years of residence at one place
Years of employment
Please have your spouse check their score as well. Lenders will sometimes use the lowest score if a couple is applying for credit.
The Bottom Line: your credit score is as important as your blood pressure or cholesterol count!
A good number of the agrilenders in my banking school in Topeka, KS, recently had two years or less of experience. They had not been through the farm crisis of the 1980s. Let’s hope this does not cause history to repeat itself!
My e-mail address is:[email protected] 
Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.
To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.
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