When your credit score gets calculated their are five pieces of information that are used to give you your overall credit score. This scoring model looks at your: payment history, amount owed, length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit used.
First let’s look in more detail at your payment history. This is where your credit report comes in to play and the accounts are examined, do you have any late or missed payments? Do you have and credit card charge-offs, collections, outstanding debts, repossessions…
Your payment history is 35% of your overall score. We would encourage you to work with lenders to remove any negative information. Additionally it would also be in your interest to dispute any and all bad credit with the bureaus directly.
The next most important piece of information is your amount or debt owed. This is also known as your ratio of available credit to debt and it accounts for 30% of your overall credit score.
This is going to take into account all the debts you have such as: credit cards, student loans, car loans, mortgages… It also is going to look at how much available credit you have. For example unused credit on your credit card.
It is important to show that you have available credit because this makes you appear that you are in a much more secure financial position than if you can’t borrow a dollar on any of your credit lines. However it is important also to show that you do have a balance on your credit card because this will display that you do responsibly use your credit. The experts recommend keeping a monthly balance of roughly 30% of your overall credit limit.
The next piece of information is your length of credit history and this is only 15% of your overall credit score. This is going to look at, how long have you been using credit. For example when did you get your first credit card. It also is going to look at how old each individual account is, the idea is the older the account the better a credit risk you are. In other words don’t close old credit cards because your credit score may suffer.
The last two items are: what types of credit do you have and your new credit. The types of credit you have is just what it sounds like, what types of credit lines are you using for example: credit card, personal loan, student loan… The idea is the more diverse or different your accounts are the better your score will be.
Your new credit is looking at how often you are applying for new lines of credit. The scoring model understands that it is normal to have your credit report checked periodically just in the everyday of life.
However if you have a high frequency of inquiries then your score will drop. This is because it looks like you’re trying to borrow from everyone instead of responsibly borrowing from a few lenders. However both these items are only 10% of your credit score and you shouldn’t lose any sleep over them.
If you concentrate your efforts on improving your payment history and your ratio of available credit to debt and you will see your credit score improve. Remember you don’t have to continue to live with the expensive life of a poor credit score.
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