Thursday, January 2, 2014

Your Credit Score - Understand It!

   A Credit Score is a three digit number but this seemingly
harmless number is strongly tied to the amount you can borrow.
It also influences the terms of borrowing. In order to stay on top
of your finances, it is crucial for an individual to thoroughly
understand credit scoring in order to make well-informed

Credit Scores: How Credit Bureaus Calculate Them
   There are three main credit bureaus operating in United
States, Equifax, Trans Union and Experian. While every credit
bureau uses a different method for calculating the credit score,
individuals with a long history of paying their debts on time,
using the appropriate types of credit and not exceeding their
available credit lines are most likely to have a good credit score.
The ideal credit score falls in the range of 300 to 850. The
higher your credit score, the higher are your chances of
securing a loan with desirable terms.

   While there are several credit scoring companies, the FICO
score is the most widely used in mortgage application. Several
factors contributing to the FICO score are as follows:

Payment history

   As the highest contributor to your score, individuals with a
habit of paying bills late are most likely to suffer. Since payment
history is a clear reflection of an individual's likelihood of
committing default on financial obligations, it is the biggest
contributor in a credit score calculation at a 35% value.

Outstanding debt

   The next biggest contributor to your credit score is the
amount you owe. If the amount of debt you owe is close to your
credit limit, your score will take a steep decline. Similarly, if you
have outstanding balance on several accounts, this reflects
negatively on your credit score. Outstanding debt has a 30%
value on the score. This factor also takes into account the
amount of debt you owe as compared to the amount of the
amount of debt available.

Length of credit history

   The next most crucial aspect of your credit score is the
length of credit history. They say old credit is the best credit.
This is indeed true because the longer your accounts are open,
the better it is with boosting your score. Length of credit history
has a 15% contribution to the credit score. 

   The length of credit history is further broken down into three
parts which is how long certain account types have been
opened, how long accounts have been opened, and how long
since those accounts have been used. At least one credit
account that is active in the last six months is crucial for a long
and well established credit history.

New credit

   If you have applied for any new credit accounts recently, it
will calculate a 10% value towards your credit score. If you have
opened several accounts in a small time frame, your credit
score will decrease. This can be particularly dangerous if an
individual does not have a very long credit history.

Types of credit

   This is where the types of credit you have come into play.
Finance company accounts, retail accounts, installment loans,
and credit cards accounts are the ideal scenario for a healthy
mix of installment and revolving accounts. This aspect is usually
taken into consideration only when there isn't sufficient
information to determine the score.

What is worse for your credit scores?

   Are you wondering what is worse for credit scores?
Bankruptcy, foreclosure, collection and charged off accounts?
Whether it's a foreclosure on your report, bankruptcy or charged
off accounts, the credit score is going to drop. All three
scenarios show a pattern of not being able to fulfill your
financial obligation and will obviously lower your score.

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