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How a Credit Score Is Calculated

Savvy ATM: Credit Score Anatomy

The fact that a cloud of inconsistency hangs around credit scores makes knowing your exact number nearly impossible, but all scores based on the FICO system consider the same factors to generate your magic number. Knowing these five components gives you an idea of the areas that are hurting your score and makes some sense of how your score came to be. Find out what they are when you


These percentages are according to myFICO and you can find more information on each category by visiting the FICO website.

  1. Payment history: 35 percent. Whether or not you've made punctual payments is the heaviest factor in your score.
  2. Outstanding debt: 30 percent. If your balances are high, especially compared to the amount of credit available to you, your score will suffer.
  3. Length of credit history: 15 percent. Lenders want to see that you have a history of managing debt.
  4. Any new credit: 10 percent. When you apply for a loan or other credit, lenders will look at the number of accounts you've recently opened.
  5. Types of credit used: 10 percent. This refers to the number of accounts you have like credit cards, mortgage, or installment loans.


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