How to Analyze a Credit Score

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Analyze a Credit Score
Analyze a Credit Score

How to Analyze a Credit Score. Your credit score is made up of a number of factors relating to your credit history. The exact way that your FICO score is calculated is a secret--it's proprietary knowledge of the Fair Isaac Corporation. However, if you analyze your credit history you can get a good idea of why your credit score is in a particular range.

Take care to analyze the potential problems section on your credit report. These are the issues that can pull down 30 percent of your FICO score very easily. Potential problems can include bankruptcies, debts that have been given over to collections agencies and other delinquent accounts.

Note your accounts in good standing. If the companies holding these accounts have reported your current balances, this section is about 30 percent of your FICO score--the 30 percent based on your outstanding debt. Outstanding debt isn't necessarily bad. Debt is considered in terms of your ability to pay it back and how much credit you still have available.

Check over your history of account balances. This section, combined with the potential problems section makes up as much as 35 percent of your FICO score because it tells lenders about your payment history.

Go through the listed requests for your credit history. This information can affect up to 10 percent of your FICO score, because your applications for new credit can drive down your score. However, only inquiries that you requested by asking for credit should be provided as part of your credit report for new creditors.

Consider how your credit history contributes to your credit score. If you have a history of paying off your credit on time, limiting your problems and not abusing your credit, you will have a very strong credit score.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are three major credit reporting agencies that will provide you with a copy of your credit report once a year: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
  • Your credit report may differ between agencies because not all creditors will report to each agency.
  • FICO scores range from 300 to 850. A FICO score in the mid to high 700s or low 800s would be considered high. A score below the mid 600s would be considered low.
  • If you find that when you analyze your credit report your credit score should be higher, you can file a dispute with the reporting agency for any specific problems.

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