Part of understanding your credit score is properly having your credit score explained. What is your credit score designed to accomplish and what sorts of things go into your credit history?
The free credit scores without membership fees or or other charges are used to inform banks and others who make loans of the likely amount of risk that a given person asking for a loan will be able to pay the loan back. This is done by looking at a person’s financial history.
The following information is what the banks, etc., look at – it is not an exact formula, but the rough numbers are according to FICO:
- 35%: Payment history including payments on bills, such as a mortgage, credit card or automobile loan.
- 30%: How much of the credit you have available are you using compared to how much you aren’t using (this is called credit utilization).
- 15%: The length of your credit history.
- 10%: The number of types of credit you have used.
- 10%: Recent searches for your credit score or credit report.
Looking over the list of things that affect your credit, the good news is that you have a lot of control over whether your credit score is good or bad. In the next few articles, we’ll talk specifically about what makes your credit score go up and what makes it go down.
Photo Credit: David Castillo Dominici