As an adult, your credit score is nearly as important as your good name. So understanding what can cause your credit score to sky rocket – or plummet – is extremely important. Knowing what factors will affect your score can help you remain a creditworthy borrower while helping you to plan for the future, which may including buying a car or a new home in metro Atlanta – both things you need a good credit score for.
Lenders use credit scores to determine how risky you are when they evaluate a credit application. The higher your credit score, the more likely it seems that you will repay your debt in a timely manner. When you have a higher score and are considered less of a risk, you will more than likely get better terms and interest rates on your line of credit.
The three credit reporting agencies assess your information and assign you a score, so there may be some variation between the scores. However, according to “Ten Things That Can Affect Your Credit Score,” an article on the Equifax Finance Blog, these factors are usually considered:
- Payments: Around 35 percent of your credit score is based on your payment history, so late payments or past due payments can significantly impact your score.
- Length of Time: The longer your credit accounts have been opened, the more they help improve your score. Five to seven percent of your score is determined by the length of your credit history, so a long and positive history is another way for lenders to see that you are a creditworthy borrower.
- Types of Credit: Approximately 15 percent of your credit score is based on whether or not you have a diverse portfolio of credit. Having only credit cards can negatively affect your score, while having a credit card, auto loan and mortgage payment will help your score.
While there is no quick fix available to fix a poor credit score, there are some risky behaviors that you should always avoid:
- Collections: Missing multiple payments on one account can cause the creditor to send that account to collections, which will almost always cause a significant impact on your credit score.
- Closing Paid Accounts: When you pay off a credit account, especially credit cards, it can be tempting to close the account so that you don’t charge anything else. However, closing an account can alter your debt-to-credit ratio or the length of time you’ve had a credit history, which can negatively affect your score.
To learn the remaining factors that can affect your credit score, be sure to read the full article. Then, visit the Equifax Finance Blog for more information on personal credit, finance, real estate and more.