What Makes Up Your Score

There are five major components that comprise a FICO credit score.

1. Payment History: 35% of Score

This is the largest single factor in the FICO scoring model. Lenders obviously want to know how a consumer has managed his or her financial obligations in the past. Late payments are not a complete negative; however, they are definitely frowned upon. A good overall credit score can outweigh one or two instances of late payments. It is important to realize that having no late payments does not constitute automatic approval, either.

This factor evaluates:

  • Payment information, including payments on all types of loans, such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, retail store credit cards, installment loans, finance company accounts, and mortgage accounts.
  • Public record and collection items. These include bankruptcies, judgments, lawsuits, wage garnishments and collection items. These are considered serious; however, older items count less than recent items.
  • No late payments. The absence of late payments will increase a credit score.