About Your Credit Score

What is a Credit Score?

A credit score, commonly known as a FICO score, is used by creditors to determine how much of a credit risk you are. Your score has a predictive value for telling the lender how likely you are to repay a loan or to make payments on time.

Your credit score is calculated using information in your credit reports. Generally every person with a Social Security number, whether a citizen or not, will have three versions of credit reports to their name. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are three companies that collect your credit information and provide your credit report (also known as credit profile) to your lenders/creditors. Credit scores are based on a numerical model derived from the analysis of past credit histories for thousands of people. Based on the collective “credit history” of thousands of people with financial profiles similar to yours, your credit score provides an estimate of your future behavior in respect to repayment of a potential loan.

The Categories of Your Credit Score

Your credit score takes into consideration the following categories of information:

All of these categories are considered when determining your credit score. No one piece of information or factor will determine your score, but some categories count more (or are weighted more) than others.

Credit Factors

The importance of any one factor depends on the overall information on your credit report.

Your specific credit history also determines the importance of each credit factor. As your credit history changes so to does the importance of those factors. Since the details of your financial situation are unique and the calculation used to determine your credit score is based on a confidential formula, is unable to predict which factors will bear the most weight in your situation.

Your score only reflects information in your credit report.

Your FICO score is only an evaluation of your credit history based on the 5 categories of credit information. Lenders also look at other factors like income and the type of credit you are applying for when examining your application for loan approval.

Neither your credit score, nor a potential lender, can consider your ethnicity, religion, gender, marital status or nationality as factors in determining a loan application. Any such practice is prohibited by US law.

Your credit score reflects both positive and negative information in your credit report.

Having a record of timely payments will raised your credit score. Any reported late payments will lower your score. Your final credit score is a reflection of all of these factors.