How my FICO Scores are calculated
FICO® Scores are calculated from many different pieces of credit data in your credit report. This data is grouped into five categories as outlined below. The percentages in the chart reflect how important each of the categories is in determining how your FICO Scores are calculated.
Your FICO Scores consider both positive and negative information in your credit report. Late payments will lower your FICO Scores, but establishing or re-establishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your score.
How a FICO Score breaks down
These percentages are based on the importance of the five categories for the general population. For particular groups—for example, people who have not been using credit long—the relative importance of these categories may be different.
Importance of categories varies per person
Your FICO Scores are calculated based on these five categories. For some groups, the importance of these categories may vary; for example, people who have not been using credit long will be factored differently than those with a longer credit history.
The importance of any one factor in your credit score calculation depends on the overall information in your credit report. For some people, one factor may have a larger impact that it would for someone with a much different credit history. In addition, as the information in your credit report changes, so does the importance of any factor in determining your FICO® Scores.
Therefore, it’s impossible to measure the exact impact of a single factor in how your credit score is calculated without looking at your entire report. Even the levels of importance shown in the FICO Scores chart are for the general population, and will be different for different credit profiles.
Your FICO Scores only look at information in your credit report
Your credit score is calculated from your credit report. However, lenders look at many things when making a credit decision such as your income, how long you have worked at your present job and the kind of credit you are requesting.
Payment history (35%)
The first thing any lender wants to know is whether you’ve paid past credit accounts on time. This is one of the most important factors in a FICO® Score.
Amounts owed (30%)
Having credit accounts and owing money on them does not necessarily mean you are a high-risk borrower with a low FICO® Score.
Length of credit history (15%)
In general, a longer credit history will increase your FICO® Scores. However, even people who haven’t been using credit long may have high FICO Scores, depending on how the rest of the credit report looks.
Your FICO Scores take into account:
- how long your credit accounts have been established, including the age of your oldest account, the age of your newest account and an average age of all your accounts
- how long specific credit accounts have been established
- how long it has been since you used certain accounts
Credit mix in use (10%)
FICO Scores will consider your mix of credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans.
New credit (10%)
Research shows that opening several credit accounts in a short period of time represents a greater risk – especially for people who don’t have a long credit history.