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Your Fair Isaac Corporation, or FICO®, credit score is determined by the following five elements:

  • Your history of making payments = 35% of your score
    Are you always on time with your bill payments? If so, it will help your score.
  • How much money you owe = 30% of your score
    The more money you owe (this includes all accounts) compared to your credit limit, the lower your FICO score will be.
  • Credit history = 15% of your score
    A longer history of credit will increase your FICO score, but you can still get a good score if you have a short history as long as the credit report shows that you've managed your credit responsibly.
  • New credit = 10% of your score
    If there are a lot of credit checks for loans and credit cards on your history spread across a long time period, it could lower your score. If you do plan on obtaining a loan or new credit cards, be sure to do your rate shopping over a limited amount of time, i.e. 30 days.
  • Miscellaneous factors = 10% of your score
    Various other items also affect your credit score.  For example, if you have many different types of credit types (cards, loans, personal lines of credit), it may lower your score slightly.