Credit Score

What is a Credit Score?

Credit scores are like grades for your financial life. Credit scores are used by lenders to determine your eligibility for loans, and it’s important that you keep track of them because they can affect both how much interest rates on future borrowing transactions will be as well what types or amounts may become available based off this information.  

A higher score means better chances at getting approved but only if you have been reliable in paying their bills thus far – otherwise you might find yourself being turned down without even knowing why!

Credit scores are a complicated topic for many people to understand. There is more than one type of credit score, and they change depending on an individual’s history with loans or financial deals like mortgages in the past- which makes it difficult as well since there can be several different versions at any given time!

There are two major scoring models, FICO and Vantage Score.

The FICO model uses a scoring range between 300 and 850.
Vantage Score uses a range between 501 and 990.

FICO Score Broken Down

Payment History

Payment history holds the most weight, at 35%, of your FICO credit score. Out of the entire 550 point span, the payment history is accountable for 192.5 points of your credit score. This is one of the first things that lenders will look at to see how well you have paid on other credit accounts. The higher your credit score is, the harder a late payment can impact your credit score negatively. When building credit, you want to avoid late payments since it is the most important factor in your FICO score.

Credit Utilization

Credit Utilization is the next biggest factor of your FICO credit score, at 30%. This makes the amount of credit you are using compared to the amount that is issued by the lender, accountable for 165 points of your credit score. Lenders do NOT like to see 100% utilization because it makes a consumer seem irresponsible with their credit. It is ideal that you use no more than 30% of the revolving credit accounts you have. To look more favorable to lenders, keep the amount of credit you are using between 3%-10%. That means if you have a credit card with a $300 credit limit, then you want to make sure the payments made keeps the balance below $30 when it is time to report.

Credit Age

Credit age holds a 15% factor of your FICO credit score. This means that how young or old the reporting accounts on your credit report are, makes up 82.5 points of your credit score. In general, older credit history impacts your credit in a positive way. This portion of your score will take into account your oldest reporting account, newest reporting account, and an average of the age of ALL the accounts reporting to your credit. The length of time it has been since certain accounts have been used is also factored in. This means having open lines of credit just sitting on your credit report with no activity, actually hurts more than it helps. The lenders like to see you using your credit responsibly, so activity is better than no activity.

Credit Mix

Credit Mix holds a 10% factor of your FICO credit score. This means the mixture of types of credit reporting to your credit report accounts for 55 points of your score. Lenders typically like to see a variety of accounts reporting such as a mixture of credit card revolving accounts, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company loans, and mortgage loans. Although it is ideal to have a mixture of all those different account types, it is not necessary to have all of them.

Inquiries

Inquiries holds a 10% factor of your FICO credit score.  This means that the amount of times your credit was pulled by a lender and a new inquiry was added to your credit report accounts for 55 points of your credit score.  You want to keep your inquiries down to what is ABSOLUTELY necessary to avoid multiple inquiries showing up on your credit report.  Some lenders avoid extending credit to someone that is showing multiple inquiries for credit within a certain amount of time. 

As you can see here, there are quite a few “ingredients” to this pie! A great recipe for a healthy Credit Score can be found inside ScoreZoom™!

There is so much information floating around about credit, financial literacy and finances in general that it can be very hard to know what is going to work for you.

This is exactly why we created ScoreZoom™!