One question we hear a lot is how is a credit score determined.  Credit Scores used to be determined by Fair Isaac Credit Organization also known as “FICO.”  This company came around in the 1950s by hiring some very smart math guys who analyzed consumer credit habits.  In more recent years, the credit bureaus started their own credit scoring companies such as Vantage Score used by Experian and Equifax Credit Score used by Equifax.  Still, far and away, the most widely used and respected score is the venerable FICO Score.

A FICO credit score is created via a joint effort between the credit bureaus which collect information about how you handle credit and FICO.

The credit bureaus feed your credit information to FICO.  In general terms, FICO has several different scoring models to determine your credit score.  FICO determines the most appropriate scoring model based on items in your credit report and returns a FICO score, which it then sells to the bureaus.

So here is what makes up your FICO Score:

  1. 35% of your score is determined by your payment history. This section looks at timely and untimely payments made, adverse public records, delinquencies, and charge offs.
  2. 30% of your FICO score is based on amounts owing on accounts, number of accounts with balances and proportion of credit lines used. It also looks at utilization percentages of credit used vs credit available.
  3. 15% is Length of credit history. This includes time since accounts opened and time since account activity.
  4. 10% – New credit such as accounts recently opened, number of credit inquiries.
  5. 10% Types of credit used such as mortgage loans, revolving credit such as credit card and installment loans.

While there is no way to double check the FICO score as accurate, we do have enough information to determine what is important in determining the score.  Knowing that 65% of a credit score is based on payment history and balances owing, gives all of us a pretty good idea of how important it is to manage credit appropriately to maximize our credit scores.

If you have mistakes or errors on your credit reports, or you think the information isn’t accurate, email me, Attorney Gary Nitzkin at or call us at Credit Repair Lawyers of America for a free no obligation consultation (855) 956-2089.  We are happy to review your credit reports with you, for free, to make sure that they are clean and accurate.

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