- What is the score
- How is it calculated?
- Which score do credit card companies use?
FICO is probably the most recognized credit score that most lenders use. If you have applied for a credit card, loan, or mortgage, the lender probably checked on your FICO score to lend you money. Now, how does this all work?
What is the FICO score?
The FICO score is a number that is determined by your credit reports and serves as a reference for lenders to know how you have been repaying loans. This score is used by 90% of lenders when reviewing your profile, so understanding it is really important.
How is it calculated?
When building your FICO score many factors play important roles. Payment history is the most important one; it represents 35% of your score as any lender’s priority is to look if you have paid past credits. Then comes 30% of the total amount that you owe, and even though owing money on your accounts is not a bad thing, banks tend to interpret clients who overuse their available credit as high-risk borrowers. The length of your credit history represents 15% of your FICO score, so having a longer credit history will benefit your score. Your credit mix and the new credits you acquire each represent 10% of the FICO score. Credit mix refers to the types of loans you have; the more varied the better.
Which one do credit card companies use?
There are many FICO scores, each one is specific to each type of loan, but the FICO 8 score is the most common one. FICO 8 uses factors such as credit utilization which determines the available credit you have based on the credit you already used. Remember that being close to the credit limit is usually considered as a high-risk borrower. It is best to keep your credit utilization below 30%. This will keep your FICO score at a good average and will prevent a high utilization rate from hurting it.
IN A NUTSHELL
FICO score is the most important credit score and most of the main lenders use this to determine rates and whether or not they will lend you money. Habits such as maintaining a low credit utilization or being recurrent in your payments will help you maintain a healthy FICO score, which will eventually help you save money.