• Many different mathematical formulas are used to calculate credit scores and most are based on the following factors, although each scoring model may weight these factors differently:

    1. Payment history. This, along with public records (see below), generally accounts for approximately 35% of your score. A record of late payments on your current and past credit accounts will typically lower your score. Being consistent about paying on time can, over time, have a positive impact on your score.
    2. Public records. Matters of public record such as bankruptcies, judgments, and collection items may lower your score. Be aware of these, even if you can't always avoid them.
    3. Length of credit history. In general, a longer credit history is better and can sometimes have a positive impact on your score. Credit history typically accounts for around 15% of your score.
    4. New accounts. Opening multiple new accounts in a short period of time may negatively impact your score.
    5. Inquiries. Whenever someone else gets your credit report -- a lender, landlord, or insurer, for example -- an inquiry is recorded on your credit report. A large number of recent inquiries may negatively impact your score. Your new credit accounts and inquiries generally make up about 10% of your score.
    6. Accounts in use. The presence of too many open accounts can have a negative impact on your score, whether you're using the accounts or not. This activity usually makes up approximately 10% of your score.