Credit Score Definition
A Credit Score is the result of calculations used to assess the credit risk for a particular consumer. The most widely used method is based on the Fair Isaac & Co (FICO) credit scoring model. It calculates credit scores by comparing the information in one individual's credit report to the patterns of information contained in the reports of thousands of others.
Factors that influence your credit score
Understanding what influences your credit score can help you make decisions that improve your overall financial situation. There are five major factors. No one factor will determine your score, but some are weighted more heavily than others.
Payment History = 35% of your total score
Your payment history is a calculation derived from: the number of times you paid your bills on time, the number of times you made late payments, the number of days late, the number of accounts turned over to collection, the number of judgments entered against you, and records of bankruptcy filings.
Amounts Owed = 30% of your total score
This factor is calculated from how much you owe in total, what types of loans you have, and how much you owe now in relation to how much you borrowed originally.
Length of Credit History = 15% of your total score
In general, a longer good credit history will increase your score. This factor calculates the length of time that you have had your credit accounts, and the frequency of use for each account.
New Credit = 10% of your total score
This factor looks at your recent credit history. Considerations include the number of new accounts, the dates they were opened, the total number of requests for credit you have made, and the length of time between credit report inquiries by lenders.
Types of Credit Used = 10% of your total score
The FICO Score will consider your mix of credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans. It's not necessary to have one of each, and it's not a good idea to open credit accounts you don’t intend to use.
The credit mix usually won’t be a key factor in determining your FICO Score—but it will be more important if your credit report does not have a lot of other information on which to base a score.