Where do I start?
What is a FICO® Credit Score?
Your credit score, also known as FICO®, is a 3-digit number between 300 – 850 and is the total sum of your five credit factors. It's your financial report card and lenders use it to determine what kind of loans or credit cards you qualify for.
Why does your credit score even matter? To put it simply, the higher your score, the easier it will be for you to qualify for larger amounts of credit at lower interest rates.
Over 80 percent of the largest financial institutions & 75 percent of mortgage lenders use FICO scores in their evaluation of your credit worthiness in the approvals process for credit.
Amount owed (used) – 30%
The amount that you currently owe to lenders. Your overall credit utilization or the percentage of available credit used vs borrowed is the second most important factor of your FICO score. This area gives a snapshot of your present financial situation.
Types of credit used or Credit Mix – 10%
Credit mix is the mix of the different accounts and loans on record. The combination of mortgage loans, auto loans, credit cards, and other types of loans are factored into the mix.
Payment History – 35%
Your payment history is the most important factor of your FICO score and has the most impact. The repayment of past debt is taken into careful consideration. Therefore, one of the best ways to improve or maintain your FICO score is make on-time payments consistently.
Length of Credit History – 15%
It’s as simple as it sounds – this is the length of time your credit accounts have been open. The longer your credit history the better - there is more data and payment information for the financial institution or lender to use as a guide.
New credit – 10%
Past credit applications for new accounts/loans & the quantity are factored into your FICO score as well. Opening several new credit accounts in a relatively short period of time can send an alert and represent a possible higher risk.