How to get ready for a credit check

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    By Lucy Lazarony/

    You'll want to be sure your credit is in the best shape possible before you apply for a car loan, home loan or personal loan. But how do you get ready for a credit check?

    A lender checks your credit before approving you for a loan, and your credit rating also determines what kind of interest rate you will pay on a loan. The lifetime cost of a bad credit score is staggering -- here's a calculator to help you crunch the numbers.

    These three steps can help ensure your credit profile looks as good as it can -- and isn't dragged down by inaccurate information.