*There was a time when complicated math problems had to be figured out with nothing more than a paper and pencil. Next came the slide rule to simplify things (once you learned how to use it). Then came calculators; they were quite remarkable inventions for their time. Now we have computers, but calculators have not gone anywhere.*

In fact, there are more types of calculators available than ever before. While the first calculators could perform mathematical functions, and they still exist, today we have situation specific calculators. There are calculators that estimate how much energy you use, how many calories you burn, how healthy you are and even how romantically compatible you are with someone else.

There is no doubt that all of those calculators can play a role in our lives, there is one that probably has a bigger impact than most people realize. That is the credit score calculator. But what is it? At it's most basic level, it's a tool for estimating your credit score. This is important because the credit agencies do not make this number freely available. You enter different data based on what the calculator needs to know, then it runs the numbers and gives you an approximation of your score. Of course, it's accuracy is largely determined by what you enter, so take the time to answer as best as you can.

A credit score calculator does its best to give you your FICO score. This is the number lenders use when deciding whether or not to extend credit to you or give you loan, as well as what terms and conditions will be placed on you as a borrower. The better your credit score, the better your terms will be. Even slightly better terms can add up to a lot of money over the course of a loan.

You will need to gather some information before you use a credit score calculator. In most cases, they will ask you questions that you won't know off the top of your head. Here are some of the more common questions you should prepare for:

What kinds of questions will a credit score calculator ask you? You will answer questions that are related to the main criteria for determining your credit score – the length of time you have had credit, how much debt you have, how often you have been late with payments (if at all), and the like. Some common questions are:

- Have you ever had a judgment or tax lien filed against you?
- How many of your debts are thirty days late or more?
- How many open credit card accounts do you have (regardless of the balance, even if it is $0)?
- How much money do you owe, in total?
- Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?
- How many types of credit do you currently have?
- How much is your gross salary?
- How many of your credit cards are at their limit?