How is my credit score calculated?

You probably haven’t given much thought to how your credit score is calculated.  Why would you? Until you need to apply for a loan that required a credit check, it won’t affect your lifestyle at all.

But if you expect to need a loan in the near future, understanding how your credit score is calculated will allow you take steps to improve it so that you have a better chance of being approved for that loan.

There are 5 things that make up your credit score. They are:

  • Payment history
  • Credit utilization ratio
  • Length of credit history
  • New credit accounts
  • Credit mix

Let’s take a look at each one of these to see which factors are important to focus on.

Payment history (35%)

Your payment history reflects on how responsible a borrower you are. It looks at your tendency to pay bills on time as well as any credit events such as bankruptcy.

Credit utilization ratio (30%)

Your credit utilization ratio is the percentage of available credit you’re currently using. The lower this percentage is, the higher your credit score will be.

Length of credit history (15%):

Credit card companies want to see consistently in your handling of credit over time. The longer your credit history, the higher your score for this portion of the evaluation.

New credit accounts (10%):

Opening too many new accounts in a short period of time is a red flag for lenders. It suggests that you’re depending on more and more borrowing to pay your bills.  If you’re planning on opening several new credit accounts, do it over a period of time.

Credit mix (10%):

Credit bureaus treat credit card accounts differently that other forms of credit such as mortgages, student loans, car loans.

Based on the percentages shown above, it makes sense to focus on payment history and your credit utilization ratio as they make up 65% of how your credit score is calculated.

I am an independent Registered Investment Advisor specializing in retirement planning. I offer no-cost, no-obligation phone consultations on this topic and other financial topics that you would like to know more about.

"Education is the key to making informed financial decisions." -- Elliot Goldberg, Independent Registered Investment Advisor (610) 999-3599
“Education is the key to making informed financial decisions.” — Elliot Goldberg

Please call me at (610) 999-3599 or click here to learn more about how your credit score is calculated.

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