A credit score is a number number that lenders use to determine risk. Essentially, your score tells a lender how likely you are to pay them back in full and on time. And it's really important, this number determine if a lender will let you borrow money, but also the amount, terms and flexibility the lender will offer you.
A FICO score is comprised of five major factors, although some are weighted more heavily than others, such as payment history and debt owed. Here’s the breakdown:
Payment history: Your account payment information, including any delinquencies and public records.
Amounts owed: How much you owe on your accounts. The amount of available credit you’re using on revolving accounts is heavily weighted.
Length of credit history: How long ago you opened accounts and the time since account activity.
Credit mix: The mix of accounts you have, such as revolving and installment.
New credit: Your pursuit of additional credit, including credit inquiries and the number of recently opened accounts.
A better credit score improves our ability to borrow and satisfy those like our landlord who want us to be creditworthy.
Improving credit isn't an immediate process. An excellent credit score is most often the result of years of conscientious financial behavior. While some strategies will let you see small improvements quickly, joining the ranks of those with the highest credit scores will take time.
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