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What Affects A Credit Score?

Knowing what affects your credit score is perhaps some of the most important information you can acquire in your life. Why? Many of the acquisitions that matter to most people like buying a home, getting a loan for a new car, obtaining an additional credit card or even a landing a good job can be positively or negatively affected by your credit score.

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Your credit score also affects how high your interest will be on your purchases and loans. The higher your score the lower interest you'll probably pay. Conversely, the lower your credit score the higher your interest could be. No doubt this will impact how fast and how easily you are able to pay off your debts which can then affect your credit report and score on into the future.

Lenders, employers, even insurance companies buy your credit score(s) from one or all of the three credit scoring bureaus -Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Your three digit score is typically the deciding factor in whether you are viewed as a good credit lending risk, insured or future employee.

How Your Score Is Affected?

Specific credit categories are checked and can change your credit evaluation. They are:

1) Your payment history

2) How much you owe

3) Length of your credit history

4) New credit

5) Other areas -
  • previous addresses and some personal information (variations are common and typically of no consequence)
  • public records - i.e., judgments and liens
  • inquiries

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Credit Score Tips to Practice

Since your credit score is affected by your actions both positively and negatively, knowing what to do and not to do and what influences your credit score will help.

  • At the top of the list - pay your bills in full and on time.
  • Though you may have thousands of dollars of available credit, it is ill advised to spend it. In fact, a rule of thumb is to use no more 25 percent or even less (if you can) of your available credit. Suppose your credit limit is $10,000. The best case scenario is to carry a balance of no more than $2,500.
  • Continual or steady employment is favorable and seen as greater ability to pay bills and on time.

Negative Credit Score Side-Effects Can Be Avoided

  • Curtail repeated requests for new lines of credit
  • Don't miss or be late with your payments
  • Don't spend or carry more than 80 percent of your total amount of available credit
  • Find alternatives to bankruptcy
  • Stay employed or reduce periods of unemployment
  • Find alternatives to liens or foreclosures

What Should NOT Affect Your Credit Score?

It is against the law, for credit or consumer scoring agencies to determine their scores on such variables as race, color, religion, national origin, sex and marital status. Further, your score is not permitted to include whether you collect public assistance or rely any consumer right under the federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act or the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Making your payments on time is one of the most important ways to maintain and affect your credit for the good. So is taking proactive steps like using credit monitoring services. Like so many others, you too can be in charge of your finances. Take action today and let help you monitor your credit with ease and security. Start here and get your Free* Credit Score! - and know all three of your credit scores in minutes? It's fast, easy and secure!

(*With enrollment in Credit Score Complete)

Average credit rating in the US is 670. What's yoursAnatomy of a credit scoreSee Your Credit Score Now
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