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Understanding Credit Rating

What Factors Affect a Score?
Many different formulas are used to calculate credit ratings, so individual lenders may come up with a different credit score for a single individual. Most credit scores are based on the following factors, which each model weighs differently:

  • Payment History
    A record of late payments on your current and past credit accounts will lower your score.
  • Public Records
    Matters of public record such as bankruptcies, judgments, and collection items may lower your score.
  • Amount Owed
    Owing too much will lower your score, especially if you are approaching your total credit limit.
  • Length of Credit History
    In general, a credit history that dates back for a longer period of time is better.
  • New Accounts
    Opening multiple new accounts in a short period of time may lower your score.
  • Inquiries
    Whenever someone else gets your credit report -- a lender, landlord, or insurer, for example -- an inquiry is recorded on your credit report. A large number of recent inquiries may lower your score. Inquiries from lenders sending you pre-approved offers do not count in credit score calculations.
  • Accounts in Use
    The presence of too many open accounts can lower your score, whether you're using the accounts or not.

Understanding you credit rating is the first step to maintaining a good credit rating score. You can check you rating free by getting the credit monitoring product and canceling the service (if you don't need it) within the 30-day trial period.