Credit Score Recipe

by TransUnion

What goes into my credit score?

Have you ever wondered how your credit score is calculated, how something as complex as an individual’s credit history is represented by a simple three-digit number?

It’s a great question and something worth further explanation.

Here’s an easy way to think about credit scores: they’re like pies. Similar to a recipe for a pie, the recipe for a credit score calls for the blending together of numerous ingredients to form a resulting product. Tastier pies have better ingredients. So do more palatable scores.

So what are those ingredients, anyway?

Using VantageScore 3.0 as an example, let’s look at 5 of the main ingredients that factor into your credit score:

Payment History. Let’s face it, if someone has a consistent history of making payments on time, they should probably be perceived as less of a risk than someone with the same exact credit profile who only has an intermittent history of on-time payments.

Outstanding Debt. This is the amount owed. Reducing Outstanding Debt is always in the best interest of your credit health.

Utilization. Utilization measures the amount of available credit one is using. VantageScore recommends keeping balances below 30% of credit limit.

Credit Type & History. History again? Yep, all else equal, someone with a longer and diversified credit history is typically seen as a less risky borrower. This fact reinforces the importance of establishing a solid foundation of good credit as early as possible.

Recent Inquiries. Each time someone authorizes a lender or business to make an official inquiry of his/her credit, the score typically drop a little bit. It is important to apply for credit in moderation.

What does this all mean?

Good credit scores and delicious apple pies have this in common: quality ingredients. So whether you’re borrowing or baking, what matters is what you put into it.

This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. You should always seek the advice of a legal or financial professional before making legal or financial decisions.

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