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Home>UPDATE: Everything you wanted to know about your credit report -- but were afraid to ask

UPDATE: Everything you wanted to know about your credit report -- but were afraid to ask

UPDATE: Everything you wanted to know about your credit report -- but were afraid to ask

10/01/2017

A FICO credit score is based 35% on a consumer's history of paying previous debts, including credit cards and installment loans. Some 30% of the score comes from the amounts a consumer owes, in all forms of debt he or she has. Credit history, the amount of time consumers have had their credit accounts open, makes up 15% of the score.

Credit mix, the combination of credit cards, installment loans, mortgage loans and other types of debt a consumer has makes up 10% of a score. Having a mix of credit cards and loans can actually help one's score, but mix won't be a key factor in how high or low a score is (http://www.myfico.com/credit-education/types-of-credit/), FICO says on its website. And 10% of the score is based on how many new forms of credit a consumer has recently opened.

Other companies have created their own credit scores to compete with FICO scores, such as the VantageScore (https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/vantagescore-fico-score-the-difference/), but they are made up of similar components.

What does my credit score mean?

Companies that report credit scores to consumers use different scales. Consumers with lower scores may be rejected for credit and will often be given higher interest rates on loan products including credit cards. Having a lower score can cost consumers thousands of dollars or more in future interest payments.

Basic FICO scores range from 300 to 850 (http://blog.myfico.com/whats-a-good-credit-score-range/). A score of 800 and above is considered "exceptional," and lenders view consumers with scores within that range as "low risk." A score that is 740 to 799 is "very good," and consumers in that range are also likely to be approved for credit and offered low interest rates on loans. A score of 670 to 739 is "good," or in the "median" range for consumers; a score between 580 and 669 is "fair" and 579 or lower is "poor."

But as Clements said, lenders often use their own scoring systems, so any score consumers receive from agencies should merely be viewed as an indication of their overall credit health.

Is there any way to opt out of having a credit score?

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