How your credit score is determined, and three ways you can improve it
Maybe you’ve applied for a loan in the past and the loan officer gives you your credit score. It may be high, it may be low, but you’ve probably wondered how exactly is it measured?
First, credit scores are usually used to differentiate the likelihood that you will pay back a loan, or not. The main consumer credit scoring models, FICO® and VantageScore®, rank consumers using a 300-to-850 score range. The lower the number the more risk a lender sees. The higher the number the less risk there is of you defaulting.
Second, how is this number calculated? FICO® Scores are calculated using several different pieces of your credit history in your credit report. This data is grouped and weighted into five categories: payment history (35%), amounts owed (30%), length of credit history (15%), new credit (10%), and credit mix (10%).
It’s important to know that your FICO® Score is calculated only from the information in your credit report. However, when you apply for a loan, loan officers may look at many things when making a decision, such as your income, how long you have worked at your current job, how long you have lived at your current address, and the kind of credit and amount of credit you are requesting.
Did you know you could get a free credit report online? Simply visit AnnualCreditReport.com to get yours.
Many members ask us “how can we improve our credit score?” Dialing that 800 number from a roadside sign promising to give you a better credit score fast is not only expensive, but rarely do they work. Here are three things you can do right now that will help you earn a better score.
A low credit score won’t just potentially keep you from getting a loan, it determines the rate you pay when you do get a loan. The lower the credit score the higher your rate, which means a higher payment and more paid interest over time. A low credit score can also increase your insurance premiums and potentially keep you from renting a home.
Want to learn more about your credit score and get tips from an expert on how to improve your credit score, and ultimately your finances?
Columbine Federal Credit Union wants to help. Reach out and schedule a time to meet with us. We promise we won’t judge you. Our job is to give you a proper perspective and help you achieve a better financial life.
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