Credit Report Basics

credit report, credit score

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to understanding your credit score, the factors that influence it and who can look at your credit score.

First, you need to know how your score is calculated. Your credit score is made up of five different factors and they all weigh differently on your score.

  • 35% of your credit score is based on your payment history
  • 30% of your credit score is based on your total amount owed
  • 15% of your credit score is based on your length of credit history
  • 10% of your credit score is based on your types of credit in use
  • 10% of your credit score is based on inquiries to your report and opening new accounts

Your actual credit score will be a number that ranges in between 350-850 and there are different categories that your credit score can fall under based on that number.

  • Very poor – below 499
  • Poor – 500-579
  • Fair – 580-679
  • Good – 680-729
  • Great – 730-799
  • Excellent – 800+

It’s also important to know who is going to be looking at your credit report and in what situations one will be pulled. This is not a complete list but some of the most common reasons your credit report would be examined is for:

  • Taking out a loan
  • Applying for a credit card
  • Renting or buying a home
  • Getting insurance
  • Applying for a job
  • Purchasing a car, large appliance or cell phone

Lastly, here are some ways to help you build and maintain your credit score.

  • Always make sure you pay your bills on time
  • Pay account balances in full every month or keep the balance under 50% of your limit
  • Check your report regularly to make sure there are no errors
  • Maintain steady employment

Remember that you can access your credit report for free every year by going to www.annualcreditreport.com or call our office at 316-265-2000 to schedule a credit report review appointment.

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