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Illustration of a man and woman sitting across each other and collaborating about a better financial future

Questions

There are three nationwide credit reporting agencies, also called credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These companies collect financial and other data about users, which is recorded in credit reports and used to create credit scores. Each bureau does not collect the exact same information, so a person can actually have multiple credit scores, including multiple FICO® credit scores.

Your reported credit activity is what makes up your credit history. The details about the credit accounts you have (the balances you owe on them and whether or not you’ve made your payments on time) are reported to credit bureaus to help you build credit history.

While you work on building your credit history, it’s important to make your loan and/or credit card payments on time. Missed or late payments can negatively impact your credit score.

Credit scores try to estimate the likelihood that a borrower will pay back debts on time. There are many types of credit scores developed by different companies, but the FICO® score, developed by Fair Isaac Corporation, is one of the most commonly referenced credit scores.

According to Fair Isaac Corporation , your FICO® credit score is a number between 300 and 850, and is calculated by a formula that takes into account the following factors:

  • Payment history (35%)
  • Amount owed (30%)
  • Length of credit history (15%)
  • Credit mix (10%)
  • New credit (10%)

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