What Affects My Credit Score?

In determining your FICO score (credit score), several factors are weighted.

Woman in gray tank top handing her credit card to a grocery clerk for a purchase

The FICO score is the original credit score (started in 1958 by the Fair Isaac Company). It’s not the only way your credit report is scored, but your FICO score is still the major credit score used by credit card companies, banks, and other lending institutions. Here’s how it’s determined:

35% Your payment history

Have you made credit card and loan payments on time? Were there any late payments (delinquencies), and if so, how late were they, how much was owed, how recent were they, and how many times were you late? Older late payments and smaller late payment amounts count less than more recent, larger late payments.

30% Your credit amount

How much do you owe on each account? What’s the overall amount you owe? Do you have a very small balance with no missing payments? (That’s good!) Do you have a lot of credit accounts with balances? (That may not be so good.)

15% The length of your credit history

What’s your oldest account? The average age of all your accounts? When was the last time you used your credit account?

10% New credit

How many new credit accounts do you have? How long has it been since you opened a new account? How many requests for credit have you made in the last year? How long ago did a lender make a credit report inquiry? Have you repaired any problematic credit history?

10% Types of credit

What kinds of credit accounts do you have? Revolving credit (credit cards)? Installment credit (personal, car, student loans, mortgages)? How many of each kind?

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