Monday, June 5, 2023

What Determines Your Credit Score

Myth #: Paying My Utilities Bills On Time Will Improve My Credit

What Determines Your Credit Score?

Unfortunately, this isnt the case. Utilities and most cable/Internet providers do not report payment histories to the credit bureaus unless payments are in default. If payments are up to date, they will not influence your credit score. If payments get behind or go to collections, they can be reported and will have a negative affect on the credit score. One exception to this appears to be Rogers Cable, which some have said are reporting to the bureaus regularly. Cell phone companies also report payment histories to the credit bureaus, so keeping your cell phone payments current can help to improve your credit score.

Types Of Accounts That Impact Credit Scores

Typically, credit files contain information about two types of debt: installment loans and revolving credit. Because revolving and installment accounts keep a record of your debt and payment history, they are important for calculating your credit scores.

  • Installment credit usually comprises loans where you borrow a fixed amount and agree to make a monthly payment toward the overall balance until the loan is paid off. Student loans, personal loans, and mortgages are examples of installment accounts.
  • Revolving credit is typically associated with credit cards but can also include some types of home equity loans. With revolving credit accounts, you have a credit limit and make at least minimum monthly payments according to how much credit you use. Revolving credit can fluctuate and doesn’t typically have a fixed term.

How Does A Credit Scoring System Work

  • Have you paid your bills on time? If your credit report shows that youve paid bills late, had an account put in collections, or declared bankruptcy, thats likely to affect your score negatively.
  • Are you maxed out? Many scoring systems look at the amount of outstanding debt you have compared to your credit limits. If the amount you owe is close to your credit limit, its likely to hurt your score.
  • How long have you had credit? Generally, scoring systems consider your credit track record. A short credit history may hurt your score, but paying bills on time and having low balances can offset that.
  • Have you applied for new credit lately? Many scoring systems look at inquiries on your credit report to see whether youve applied for credit recently. If youve applied for too many new accounts recently, it could hurt your score. Not every inquiry is counted: for example, inquiries by creditors who are monitoring your account or making prescreened credit offers arent counted against you.
  • How many credit accounts do you have, and what kinds of accounts are they? Although its generally considered a plus to have established credit accounts, too many credit card accounts may hurt your score. Also, many scoring systems consider the type of credit accounts you have. For example, under some scoring systems loans to consolidate your debt but not loans for buying a house or car may hurt your credit score.

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How To Check Your Credit Score

Checking your credit score helps you predict how borrowers will view your applications for credit cards or loans. If you see that your credit score is lower than you want, you have an opportunity to improve your score before you take major financial steps, such as applying for a mortgage.

Avoid sites that claim to provide a free credit score if they mention a trial subscription or ask for your credit card information. You may be charged within a few days if you don’t take some action to stop the trial.

You can check your own credit score, and you should, through any of a variety of services. There are online sites that offer free credit scores. If you have a checking account, many banks will also offer customers a chance to monitor their credit scores through their online accounts.

What Makes Up Your Credit Score

How Your Credit Score is Determined

For example, your bank account balance doesnt appear on your credit report. Neither does your income or your net worth. None of these factors play a role when a scoring model calculates your credit score.

Factors that do impact your FICO Score fall into one of the following five categories.

  • Payment History: 35%
  • Length of Credit History: 15%
  • New Credit: 10%

In each category, a scoring model will ask questions about your credit report. For example, Does the report show any late payments? These questions are known as characteristics in the credit scoring world. The answers to these questions, called variables, determine the number of points you earn. When the scoring software adds all of those points together, you get your credit score.

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How Your Credit Score Is Calculated

Learn what your credit score is based on and the many ways you can improve it.

Your credit score is one of the most important measures of your creditworthiness. For your FICO® Score, it’s a three digit number usually ranging between 300 to 850 and is based on metrics developed by Fair Isaac Corporation. By understanding what impacts your credit score, you can take steps to improve it.

Factors That Determine Your Credit Score

Knowing the ins and outs of your credit score is crucial to having financial freedom. However, new research shows that one in eight Americans are unaware of their credit score. In a study of 2,000 participants conducted by the marketing research firm OnePoll, it was found that a whopping 71 percent were also unaware of the consequences associated with having a low credit score.

To help increase your own awareness, read through the factors below that, once understood, are game changers when it comes to your credit score.

1. Payment History Consistently making payments has the biggest impact on your score.

Having late and missed payments are the most damaging to your credit score.

If you have a bad track record of paying bills, then you can improve your credit by beginning to pay on time or early.

2. Credit Utilization Credit utilization is determined by the amount of credit youre using compared to the total credit you have available.

The lower your credit utilization, the better your score.

3. Length of Credit History A longer credit history gives the credit bureaus a bigger snapshot of your past transactions, which allows them to predict how you will handle your credit and your potential risk.

4. Inquiries & New Credit Too many requests to view your credit report also affects your score. However, requests made during a short amount of time may be harmless if youre doing something like shopping for a car. This varies on a case-by-case basis.

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What Does Your Credit Limit Mean For Your Credit Score

While having a good credit score will increase your chances of getting a higher credit limit, a higher credit limit can in turn help your credit score.

One of the major aspects that contributes to your credit score, for example, is your credit utilization. Credit utilization is the percentage of your overall credit — across all of your open accounts — that you’re using.

So if you have an overall credit limit of $10,000 and you have a credit card balance of $5,000, your credit utilization would be 50%.

When it comes to your credit utilization, a good percentage to keep in mind is 30%: Your credit utilization contributes to 30% of your credit score, and staying below 30% credit utilization will have the best impact on it.

Having a smaller line of credit can make it harder to maintain a healthy credit utilization. The higher overall credit line you have, the easier it will be to keep your credit utilization in that 30% range, and the better your credit score will be because of it.

How Important Is The Number

How a FICO Credit Score is Determined (2015) | Continuing Feducation

Many people think that a higher score is always better, and if their score drops a few points it can have disastrous consequences. However, thats not the case.

Credit score is not a linear progression. 900 isnt better than 800. Actually, theres no difference between 800 and 900 except the number. Youd get the best mortgage rates at either score.

Small changes to your credit score month-to-month are normal and expected. Unless your score drops by dozens of points at once, you shouldnt worry too much about dips.

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How Is Your Credit Score Calculated

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

The subject of credit scores may not make for fascinating dinner conversation, but theyre actually incredibly important. Your credit score can determine whether youll be approved for a mortgage, a loan or credit card, and even whether a landlord will rent to you. It also plays a large role in the interest rate youll receive on loans and credit cards.

Well explore the five factors and examine how they impact your credit score in depth below.

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Check Your Credit Score For Free

FICO® and VantageScore create the most widely used credit scoring models in the U.S., and each company creates multiple scoring models. Fortunately, consumer credit scores tend to move together, as they’re using the same underlying information to try and predict similar outcomes.

If you have a good credit score generated by FICO® and based on your Experian credit report, you’re unlikely to then have a bad score generated by another scoring model based on a credit report from one of the other bureaus. With Experian, you can check your FICO® Score 8 for free, track it over time and get a breakdown of the factors that are most impacting your score.

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Benefits Of Having A Good Credit Score

Good credit is crucial when applying for loans, lines of credit and credit cards. Approval is much easier when you have good credit, and you’re more likely to qualify for a low-interest rate.

Here’s how much a good credit score can help you. Let’s say you want to take out a $200,000 mortgage, and you have a credit score between 620 and 639. You may qualify for a 6.788% interest rate on a 30-year mortgage. If you had a credit score between 680 and 699, however, you would qualify for a 5.598% interest rate and end up saving $55,565 in total interest.

Having good credit can also make it easier to set up utilities for a house or apartment. If you don’t have good credit, you may have to provide a refundable deposit. Car insurance companies will also run a credit check, and those with good credit may pay lower premiums than those with poor credit.

Why Your Credit Score Matters

Credit Score Factors

Your credit score affects:

  • Whether you can get approved for a financial product
  • What interest rates you may have to pay if youre approved
  • The higher your FICO Score the more likely you are to get approved for a or loan plus, itll usually reduce the interest rate associated with that particular loan or card. Lower scores can raise your interest rates significantly, or may even disqualify you for a product or service completely.


    For many credit cards, especially the most lucrative rewards cards, the cards are only offered to consumers that meet a minimum credit quality. Many of the best cards are exclusively marketed to consumers with excellent credit scores. And when it comes to credit cards, your credit score can determine the breadth of options you can choose from. Most cards are also marketed with a range of interest rates and APRs. The actual interest rate on your specific card will be inversely related to your credit score with higher creditworthiness receiving lower interest rates and vice versa.


    With mortgages and auto loans, lenders behave similarly. Your credit score is used as a component of whether or not a bank will choose to approve a loan or may force you to make additional concessions for approval. It can and generally will move the interest rate you pay on the loan as well.

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    Does Checking Your Credit Score Lower It

    The act of checking your own credit score is considered a soft inquiry and will not affect your credit score in any way. You can check your score without affecting your credit. But, when you are getting ready to apply for new credit or loan, its a good idea to check your credit score regularly.

    Make sure your credit report is accurate at least once a year, in addition to checking your credit score. The appropriate credit bureau can be contacted if you believe something is inaccurate.

    What Is The Length Of Your Credit History

    Like fine wine, whiskey and cheese, most credit histories only get better with age. Although the length of your credit history only accounts for 15% of your FICO® Score, it’s still an important influence on lenders. It can definitely impact the chances of whether or not you get a loan.

    Even some people who haven’t had credit for a considerable length of time can still have a high FICO Score if the rest of their credit report looks good. A longer credit history will always have a positive effect on FICO Scores.

    When it comes to length of credit history, your FICO Scores take three things into account:

  • How long your credit accounts have been open including the age of your oldest account, the age of your newest account, and an average age of all your accounts.

  • How long specific credit accounts have been open.

  • How long it has been since the account has been used.

  • You can find all three items on your credit report.

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    How Credit Scores Work

    A credit score can significantly affect your financial life. It plays a key role in a lenders decision to offer you credit. For example, people with credit scores below 640 are generally considered to be subprime borrowers. Lending institutions often charge interest on subprime mortgages at a rate higher than a conventional mortgage to compensate themselves for carrying more risk. They may also require a shorter repayment term or a co-signer for borrowers with a low credit score.

    Conversely, a credit score of 700 or higher is generally considered good and may result in a borrower receiving a lower interest rate, which results in their paying less money in interest over the life of the loan. Scores greater than 800 are considered excellent. While every creditor defines its own ranges for credit scores, the average FICO Score range is often used.

    • Excellent: 800850

    Your credit score, a statistical analysis of your creditworthiness, directly affects how much or how little you might pay for any lines of credit that you take out.

    A persons credit score also may determine the size of an initial deposit required to obtain a smartphone, cable service, or utilities, or to rent an apartment. And lenders frequently review borrowers scores, especially when deciding whether to change an interest rate or on a credit card.

    What Is A Credit Score?

    There May Be Red Flags That Indicate Fraud

    How Your Credit Score Is Determined | FAIRWINDS Credit Union

    Keeping an eye on your credit score regularly will allow you to spot unusual activity that may indicate fraud sooner. If you recognize a sudden and large increase in your credit usage right away, you can file a dispute and get your credit back on track.

    Besides being frustrating, this can be costly. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the median amount of money lost to credit card fraud in 2020 was $311. Furthermore, To undo identity theft, it usually takes 100 to 200 hours over six months.

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    What Determines Your Credit Score

    If you’ve ever applied for a credit card, student loan, mortgage, or other type of loan, lenders take a look at your credit score and overall credit history to determine if you are a safe bet-meaning you will be able to pay back the loan.

    Your credit score is a three-digit number that essentially sums up your credit history. The higher this number, the better position you will be in when it comes to getting favorable terms for a loan. A credit score is determined by five factors

  • Payment history 35%. This is the largest portion of your credit score. Late payments, especially more than 30 days late, can have a negative effect on your score.
  • Amounts owed 30%. Owing money isn’t a bad sign, but if you owe too much, compared to your income, that can be bad.
  • Length of credit history 15%. Usually, the longer your credit history, the better. But, having a short history doesn’t mean you can’t get a loan.
  • New credit 10%. If you’ve opened or attempted to open several new accounts recently, this can cause you to be seen as a greater risk.
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    The 5 Factors That Make Up Your Credit Score

    When you apply for a loan, a cellphone or any number of other activities, lenders and potential creditors will look at your credit score to help gauge your financial stability and thus the risk of you defaulting on a financial responsibility. The better your credit score is, the higher your chances are for getting approved.

    There are many different types of credit scores, but the FICO® score is the most common credit scoring model today and the one that is used by most lenders.

    FICO scores range from 300 to 850 points. Typically, a score more than 650 is considered “fair,” a score more than 700 is considered “good” and a score more than 750 is considered “excellent.”

    The primary factors that affect your credit score include payment history, the amount of debt you owe, how long you’ve been using credit, new or recent credit, and types of credit used. Each factor is weighted differently in your score.

    Let’s take a closer look at the factors that make up your FICO credit score and the importance of each in how the model calculates your score.

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