Lenders use many different measurements to evaluate a borrower's credit, from FICO and VantageScore figures to proprietary scores set by credit bureaus. The new financial-reform legislation requires lenders to provide consumers with a copy of the exact score report used to evaluate their application if it results in an "adverse action" against the consumer, like being refused an auto loan. That's a good thing, says John Ulzheimer, director of consumer education for Credit.com. "A lot of people make the assumption that as long as they're making minimum payments (on credit cards) they have good credit," he says. "I think this is going to remove any shadow of a doubt as far as where they stand creditwise."

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