How is my credit score calculated?

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Your credit score is calculated based on your payment history, amounts owed, the length of your credit history, the extent of your new credit, and the variety of credit types you have used.  The following chart shows the specific breakdown used to calculate a FICO credit score:

 

So what do all of these factors mean?  The following table explains what information is included in each factor:

Credit Score Factors

Payment History

  • On-time payments and late payments (including amount and duration of delinquency) for all accounts including credit cards, mortgages, and installment loans (e.g., car loans)
  • Current delinquencies
  • Length of time that has passed since prior delinquencies
  • Adverse public records including bankruptcy, civil judgments, and liens
  • Debts that have been turned over to a collection agency (a.k.a. “gone into collection” or “collection accounts”)
  • Number of accounts in good standing

Amounts owed

  • Credit utilization, i.e., ratio of total monthly balances to total credit limits
  • Number and amount of monthly balances
  • Ratio of installment loan debts to amounts initially borrowed

Length of credit history

 

  • Account ages (for credit cards, etc.)
  • Date of last activity on each account

Extent of new credit

  • Percentage and age of accounts recently opened
  • Number and date of recent credit inquiries (due to applying for new credit card accounts, utility accounts, mortgages, etc.)

Types of credit used

  • Diversity of types of credit used (credit cards, retail accounts, mortgages, installment loans, etc.)
  • Real estate loans (e.g., mortgages) are more complex to manage and thus have an especially strong positive impact