It's one of the most important numbers influencing life on this planet, and I don't mean your ZIP code, dress size or how much you spent on Mother's Day gifts for your wife. I mean your credit score, which, besides determining how much credit you get and how much you pay for it, also dictates your insurance rates, ability to rent an apartment and very likely what version of Windows you can purchase.

But a survey from the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions, a credit-score provider, shows that many consumers don't understand credit scores any more than they can comprehend the baffling reality that "Grey's Anatomy" keeps getting renewed. (Seriously, seeing all those doctors run around with earnestly pained expressions makes me wonder: Don't they have access to things like Xanax or Klonopin? Or at least Tylenol?)

You can test your pain tolerance, as well as your knowledge of credit scores, at, or try my handy-dandy version right here.

(Choose the answer that doesn't apply.)

Which of the following might use credit scores to evaluate you?

--Mortgage lender

--Credit card issuer

--Home insurer

--Hot blonde from speed-dating

Your credit score includes which of the following factors:

--Missed loan payments

--Credit card balances

--Personal bankruptcy

--Whether you are a "dog person" or a "cat person"

Your credit score is based on information collected by:




--Guy at the liquor store who sells you Powerball tickets