Credit Score Chart + 5 Key Factors
When it comes to credit score, many people are wondering: how is my score calculated, what is a good credit score, and what's the best way to track it? Enter: this credit score chart. We'll dive into more detail below the graphic! 👍
On a credit score chart, how is my score calculated?
5 Major Factors Impact Your Score
Based on the credit score chart above, you can see that credit score is developed using data that fits into 5 different categories. In some circles, this is referred to as ‘The Big 5’ – Payment History, Credit Utilization, Credit Mix, Length of Credit History, and New Credit.
1. Payment History
The single biggest factor on the credit score chart, making up 35% of your score, is simply paying your debts on time. Missing just one payment can lower your score as much as 100 points. To clarify, a late payment for credit reporting purposes refers to payments 30 days or more past due. If you’re having trouble making a payment, you’re better off calling the creditor to work something out instead of just skipping the payment and ignoring the problem.
2. Amount Owed
30% of your score is determined by how much of your available credit you are using at any given time. Another term for this is credit utilization. If you have a credit line with $10,000 available, and you have a balance of $5000, your utilization rate is 50%, or you’re actively borrowing half of what you have available. When utilization rates are high, this is a warning sign that you may not be able to handle all of your expenses (whether or not that is the case!) A rule of thumb is to keep your credit utilization rate to less than 15% of your total credit available.
Having trouble paying down your debt? Get Our Debt Relief Bundle and Say Cheers to a Debt Free Future for free and get started on the path to a debt-free lifestyle. Or, check out our on-demand webinar, How To Pay Off Debt - Top 2 Strategies.
3. Length of Credit History
The next biggest factor, at 15%, is the length of time you’ve had certain credit lines open. If you’re young, you don’t have much control over this factor – which is why younger people have a harder time bumping up their credit score quickly. Some of it just comes with time. What you can do, if you’re young, is start building credit right away. Secured credit cards or secured loans are a great way to do this. You can also become an authorized user on a parent’s credit card. For adults over age 30, the best thing you can do in this arena is to not close any accounts that have been held for a long time. Did you open a credit card when you were 20 and now you don’t use it at all? Doesn’t matter – don’t close the account if you don’t have to, because this would shorten the length of your credit history.
4. Mix It Up!
A credit mix simply means that you have different types of credit in your name. Here are some of the different types:
Installment loans – i.e. Car Loan
Regular payments are made over a certain period of time, usually with interest. After repayment, the account is closed.
Revolving loans – i.e. Credit Card or Line of Credit
Borrow up to the limit, pay it back, borrow it again. You can pay in full each month to avoid interest charges, or make minimum payments and carry a balance, paying interest charges each month.
Mortgage loans – i.e. Home Loan
Related to property owned, can be fixed or variable rate. Usually repaid over 15-30 years.
This is the type of account where balance is due to be paid in full each month, such as a collection account.
Don’t worry if you don’t have the perfect ‘mix’ of credit types. This one only counts for 10% of your score, and you’ll naturally acquire different types of credit over time.
5. New Credit
Funny enough, your credit score hurts if you apply for several new credit accounts within a short period of time. This can be an indicator of an inability to repay, especially when combined with short credit history. Tip: You can still shop around for a good lender – just make sure all inquiries of the same type are done within 14-45 days and they’ll all only count as 1 ‘hard’ inquiry. Why such a range? The newest scoring model uses a 45 day shopping window, but some of the older ones cut it off at 14 days.
What is a good credit score according to the traditional credit score chart?
Credit Score Chart and Ranges Explained
My Credit Score is 800+
You really are extra, in a good way. If you have a credit score over 800, your credit is considered to be Exceptional. Only 20% of Americans have a score over 800. With this score, you can likely qualify for the lowest possible rate on loans, as well as some great rewards credit cards. But remember – your score is always changing! Keep up the good work to keep your score where it is.
My Credit Score is 740-799
These scores are considered to be Very Good. 55% of Americans have a FICO score of 740 or higher, which is good news for them! These scores are most likely to reflect behavior like on-time payment history and a low debt vs. credit percentage (credit utilization).
My Credit Score is 670-739
If you find yourself in this range you’re close to the average FICO score in the United States, which is 706. It’s always worth it to check your credit report for errors and resolve them. 5% of Americans have an error on their credit report (due to no fault of their own!) that when resolved, can get them better rates and terms in the lending market.
My Credit Score is 580-669
Considered Fair credit, folks in this range can be encouraged by the fact that you can boost your score 30-60 points in as little as 6-12 months. For example, the ‘New Credit’ category above is only reported for 12 months. So if you went a little credit crazy and opened 5 new accounts in the same day, that data will drop off your report as a factor in just one year. Keep making those on time payments and with an eye on your utilization, you can boost that score in no time.
My Credit Score is Below 580
Poor credit is considered to be 580 or below in the credit scoring world. The good news is there is plenty of room to grow from here! Pick one of the categories out of the Big 5 that you think would be the easiest to work on. In less than a year, taking some simple steps can bump you up to the next credit score range and open up a world of new possibilities. You’ve got this!
Looking for information on how to improve your current credit score? Check out our on-demand webinar, Ask Our Experts: What's the Secret to a Good Credit Score?
What’s the Best Way to Track My Free Credit Score?
First, go to annualcreditreport.com and get a copy of all three bureaus’ reports. Check for errors and read the full free credit reports thoroughly (fair warning, they can be dozens of pages long!) This is something everyone should do once per year.
Next, sign up for free daily credit score updates, reporting, tracking, and money saving offers with Copper State Credit Union’s Free Credit Score tool. This is not a hard inquiry or hard pull on your credit, and it won’t show up on your report. It’s simply a tool to help you remain aware of changes in your score, utilization rate updates, and alerts. Did you know - getting your annual reports from the credit bureaus are great, but those reports don’t include your free credit score! To make sure you know your credit status at all times, you simply enroll for free via online banking and see the free credit score chart module pop up on the side of your online banking home page.
Maybe you want to dig further into your credit report and get an expert opinion on what's going on. Thankfully, we have a benefit for our members through our partner GreenpathTM ; they offer free debt counseling, credit report analysis, and more. Learn more at copperstatecu.org/greenpath!
We hope this credit score chart and explanation of the 5 key factors helps you as you continue to build your credit score. Know that we're always here if you need us! From savings accounts and checking accounts, to auto loans and mortgages, Copper State Credit Union has got you covered. Contact us!
This article is intended to be a general resource only and is not intended to be nor does it constitute legal advice. Any recommendations are based on opinion only. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change and may vary based on creditworthiness, qualifications, and collateral conditions. All loans subject to approval.