How do I improve my credit score?

For your VantageScore credit score there are several factors that go into calculating your credit score, including:

  • Payment history (extremely influential)
    • Payment history reflects how many on-time payments or missed payments have occurred on your various credit cards and loans. On-time payments generally have a positive impact and missed payments can negatively impact your score.

  • Age and type of credit (highly influential)
    • Age of credit takes into account how long you've had your credit account(s) open. A longer history of credit - with many on-time payments - generally has a positive impact on your credit. New accounts will lower your combined account age, so be aware when opening new accounts.
    • Type of credit refers to what kind of credit you have, such as a credit card, home mortgage, auto loan or personal loan. A credit card is revolving debt and home mortgage, student loans, and personal loans are considered installment loans. These have a different impact on your credit score. Generally, the same balance on an installment loan is viewed more favorably than that balance on a revolving credit card.

  • Credit utilization (highly influential)
    • Credit utilization refers to how much of your available credit (for example your credit limit on your credit card) is in use at the time the company reports to the credit bureaus. A general rule of thumb is to have less than 50% of your available credit in use at any one time.

  • Total balances (moderately influential)
    • Total balance refers to the total amount of debt you hold under your name. This may impact you and your daily life more than your credit score, which makes it important for you to monitor and manage.

  • Recent behavior (less influential)

  • Available credit (least influential)

Underneath your score, you will see several key factors that have the most significant contribution to your score. These key factors are provided by Equifax along with information on actions you can take to improve each area.

We are not a consumer reporting agency, credit repair organization, credit counselor, or financial or legal advisor as defined under federal or state law. Use of the Financial Fitness Services is not a replacement for personal, professional advice or assistance regarding your finances, credit history or fixing your credit rating.

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