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What Makes Up a Credit Score

Why do I need to know my credit score?

Your credit score can affect whether you get a loan, a car, a home and even a job. Being considered a “high risk” can cost you hundreds in fees and interest.

Your score is calculated on multiple factors. Five major areas effecting the score are:

  • Payment History – This is probably the most important factor. Your payment history is looking at your past payment history, with an emphasis on your most recent history.
  • Total Debt – How much is your overall debt? How close are you to your credit limits?
  • Length of Credit History – In general the longer your credit history the better.
  • New Credit – This is looking at how much new credit you have tried to get recently. Avoid applying for multiple accounts at once. An exception would be if you are shopping for a mortgage or a car loan.
  • Types of Credit Established – Do you have a healthy mix of revolving (credit cards) and installment (mortgages) credit?

A good score varies from lender to lender and between the credit bureau. Each bureau compiles the scores differently by varying the weight given to each category. Your score could vary up to 100 points depending on the bureau and the information gathered from each of the three major credit bureaus, EquifaxExperian, and Trans Union.

You can purchase your credit score for a fee from the credit bureaus. You can also request it (for a small fee) when you get your free credit report at