What Actually Affects Your Credit Score

Dated: July 3 2020

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What Actually Affects Your Credit Score
image: Get Money (or a Tax Deduction) for Your Used TechA high credit score can help you qualify for lower mortgage interest rates, making it important to know what affects your score. Credit scores are calculated based on information from one of three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Lenders also often use scores from the Fair Isaac Corporation, or FICO.

Your payment history makes up about 35% of your score, so you should avoid paying bills late whenever possible. Missing one payment shouldn't impact your score much, but missing multiple payments could make qualifying for a good mortgage rate difficult. Establishing a good payment history for loans, utility bills, and credit card bills will show creditors that you're reliable and responsible.

The amount of your available credit that you're using accounts for around 30% of your credit score. For the best score, you should use less than 10% of your available credit. If you need to use more, try to keep it under 30%. For example, someone with no loans and a credit card with a $5,000 limit should keep their card balance under $500 to make sure their credit utilization stays under 10%. Applying for another credit card will increase your available credit and make it easier to keep your credit utilization low.

The average age of your credit accounts is about 15% of your total score. Applying for several new accounts in a short time can lower your credit score temporarily. Older people and those who applied for credit at an earlier age usually have higher scores.

Having a good mix of accounts is around 10% of your score. People with the best credit scores have credit cards and installment loans, such as a mortgage or a car loan.

When you apply for credit, the lender makes an inquiry about your credit report. The number of inquiries is about 10% of your credit score, and too many in a short period can lower your score. Only inquiries from the last 12 months will impact your credit, and checking your own credit report won't change your credit score.

Credit bureaus don't consider other factors, such as your salary, your bank account balances, and any payments that are fewer than 30 days late. However, your lender could use this data along with your credit score to decide what rate you qualify for. You can contact your loan officer for more information.

Source: Credit.com, The Balance, NerdWallet, MyFICO.com
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Tera Surbeck

After relocating to the Middle Tennessee area with her family Tera discovered her passion for real estate. Tera understands that selling and buying Real Estate can be stressful, and as a Full Time REA....

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