What’s in my FICO Score

How my FICO Score is calculated

The FICO® Score is calculated from several 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 Score is calculated.

Your FICO Score considers both positive and negative information in your credit report. Late payments will lower your FICO Score, but establishing or re-establishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your score.

How a FICO Score breaks down

FICO credit score chart

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.

Learn more about what a FICO Score ignores

How to improve my FICO Score?

How credit scoring helps me?

Credit score facts & fallacies

Understanding your FICO Score booklet (PDF)  

Importance of categories varies per person

Your FICO credit score is 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® Score.

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 Score chart are for the general population, and will be different for different credit profiles.

Your FICO Score only looks 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 including your income, how long you have worked at your present job and the kind of credit you are requesting.

What the FICO Score ignores?

What are the minimum requirements to have a FICO Score?

What's in my credit report?

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.

How is credit score calculated from payment history?

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.

How is credit score calculated from amount owed?

Length of credit history (15%)

In general, a longer credit history will increase your FICO® Score. However, even people who haven't been using credit long may have a high FICO Score, depending on how the rest of the credit report looks.

Your FICO Score takes 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

Community forums: Calculating Average Account Age

Types of credit in use (10%)

The score will consider your mix of credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans.

How is credit score calculated from types of credit in use?

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.

How is credit score calculated from new credit?


Will Credit Counseling Hurt Your Credit Score?

Many people wonder if consulting with a credit counseling agency will affect their credit score. First of all, remember that your credit score is based on the information contained in your credit report, so let's start there.

Simply obtaining counseling has no bearing on your credit score, as it is not reported to the credit bureau. Therefore, people should not have any hesitation about seeking the help they need to resolve their debt, housing or other financial issues.

One of the debt resolution options available to consumers through a credit counseling agency is a Debt Management Plan (DMP). A DMP is a structured workout plan through which your creditors are repaid under new terms. Once the proposed payment terms are agreed to by the creditor, they become the new acceptable monthly payment, and are reported as such to the credit bureau. Thus, as long as consistent monthly payments are made by the consumer to the agency, and those payments are disbursed in a timely manner to the creditor, most creditors will report the consumer as current to the credit bureau.

It is likely that consumers who complete the Debt Management Plan will have little trouble obtaining new credit, if desired. In addition to being approved for credit cards, many go on to purchase houses and cars.

To hear a discussion of this topic by FICO, the inventor of the most widely-used credit scoring model, click on the link below: http://youtu.be/KUBrRYQqVCQ