Your credit score is a three-digit number that affects everything, from securing a mortgage to how much interest you will end up paying on it. This three-digit number ranges from 300, suggesting you aren’t eligible for a loan, to 850 when banks are inviting you to do business with them. It’s natural to be concerned when your scores are low.The only consolation is, you aren’t alone.

According to a recent National Financial Capability Study, merely 37 percent of American respondents have high levels of financial literacy; this is five percentage points down from 2009.

According to one of America’s most experienced credit repair consultants, Richard Kramer of Credit Repair Pro. Here are the common things, according to Kramer, most people tend to get wrong about their scores.

Credit reports aren’t credit scores
Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax generate credit reports. A credit report is your financial history. It’s silent on whether you are eligible for a mortgage, credit card or an auto loan. That’s the job of other companies such as FICO and VantageScore. They analyze your credit report to assign you the three-digit number.

There are alternatives to FICO
VantageScore is probably the most well-known. Even inside FICO, there are more 50 different models in use. There are more than a thousand different score models that companies use.  Some basic models include ones used auto loans, home loans, credit cards and insurance.  It’s possible to have a great score for credit cards and a poor score for a home mortgage!

You don’t need debt to build credit
Many people get new credit cards and then make only minimum payments with the assumption that it’s good for their score. Paying your credit cards in full each month is the avenue for high scores.

Medical debt isn’t treated differently
No one knows where this idea comes from but nearly everything thinks that credit bureaus treat medical payments differently. Kramer insists it isn’t true. In fact, medical bills, like any other expenses, will lower your credit scores.