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What Makes up a Credit Score

FICO scores are based on specific credit history, with

of inputs used to find your score.
There are 5 main parts of your

credit score.

Payment History : 35% of your
credit score

Payment history measures how you've paid on your debts.

Payment history is the largest part of your credit score

if you've recently missed
payments   your creditors, it's

those missed payments will
continue, and may lead to default.

Payment history also measures how "severe" a

payment has been. An item in
collection is worse than an item

paid 30 days late.

Tips to improve : Make payments on
time, all the time -

even items in dispute. Pay the bill
and worry about refunds


Amounts Owed : 30% of your credit

Amounts owed measures how "maxed out" you are.

owed is the second-largest part of
your credit score because a

person that is maxed out has no
safety valve in the event of a

crisis. Amounts owed is not about
the dollar amount you're

borrowing - it's about the
dollar amount you're borrowing

relative to the amount available to

Tips to improve : Don't close out
"old" credit cards, and

don't lower your available credit
limits. Having access to

credit is good.

Improving Your Credit Score 2011 Trulia.com All Rights

Credit History Length: 15% of your credit score

Your credit history is your track record with respect to

credit. Credit history matters in
the FICO model because

"experienced users of
credit" are viewed differently from new users

of credit. Similar to the hiring
process for a job, the credit bureaus

want to see this isn't your first

Tips to improve : Don't close cards
with "history". You need

them to show you're experienced
with credit.

New Credit : 10% of your credit


Don't close "old", no-fee credit

cards when you're done with

them. Instead, use them

periodically, and pay your

balances in full. This builds

history and credit length.

This category accounts for your recent attempts to secure
new credit. In general, the more credit for which you've

applied, the more damage it will do
to your credit score. This is more true for credit
cards than for mortgage

applications. A consumer in search
of new credit cards is presumed to "need" more credit lines.

Tips to improve : When you shop for
a mortgage, multiple credit checks can count as a single credit inquiry,

protecting your credit score.

Types of Credit : 10% of your
credit score

The type of credit you carry matters and not all credit
types are the same. Installment loans such as mortgage loans

and student loans, for example, are
considered "better" than credit cards and charge cards. This is

installments loans eventually pay
down to zero. Consumer cards, by contrast, can only go up.

Tips to improve : Don't carry an
abundance of store charge cards. Interest rates are high and the FICO

model looks unfavorably upon them.

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