Learn what factors affect your VantageScore credit score and how you can keep your score healthy.

How your credit score is created can be a mystery. It’s difficult to track down exactly what factors affect it and how much importance each one has. Well wonder no more! We’ve broken down exactly what goes into your VantageScore credit score, so you don’t need to waste anymore time hunting for the answers.  

Understanding Your Credit Score: VantageScore Factors

October 6, 2016

Learn all about your VantageScore with this helpful article!

How your credit score is created can be a mystery. It’s difficult to track down exactly what factors affect it and how much importance each one has. Well wonder no more! We’ve broken down exactly what goes into your VantageScore credit score, so you don’t need to waste anymore time hunting for the answers.

First off, what is your VantageScore? VantageScore is a type of credit scoring model, similar to FICO. But VantageScore uses larger amounts and alternative forms of data to create credit scores. This leads to a more accurate score, and also allows 30-35 million people to receive a credit score who otherwise would not with other credit score models. VantageScore provides scores to those with a “short” credit history, one under 6 months, which helps young adults or those who have no credit history. VantageScores range from 300-850.

Looking for what makes up your FICO score? The answers are right here.

Factors of Your VantageScore



Recent Credit: Includes the number of new accounts and credit inquiries. Avoid applying to lots of cards at once; more than 3 or 4 inquiries at a time will hurt your score.

Payment History:  Your payment history reflects how you’ve dealt with payments. Any late or missed payments can hurt your credit score, along with any collections or legal actions. On-time payments will slowly raise your score over time.

Utilization: This refers to how much of your credit you are using. Ideally, your credit cards should have no more than 30% of the credit line used. If you have a $1,000 credit limit, you should keep the bill at or below $300 per billing cycle.

Balances: what your total debt is, most likely; delinquent debt is counted more harshly than current debt.

Depth of Credit: length of credit history and types of credit previously received.

Available Credit: how much credit can be accessed, for example, the difference between your credit limits & balances.

 

Weight of Each Factor



Payment History: 40%

Utilization: 20%

Balances: 11%

Depth of Credit: 21%

Recent Credit: 5%

Available Credit: 3%

 

See how the different factors add up to make your VantageScore credit score.


VantageScore Tips




Don’t use your entire credit limit. Keeping your balances low, ideally under 30 percent of your credit limit, shows lenders you are responsible with credit. It also shows lenders you are stable with your credit limit and unlikely to need additional credit or loans.

Keep accounts open. One major part of your credit score is how long you’ve had access to credit. Try to avoid closing old accounts, since the longer you’ve had an account open the better it reflects on your score.

Stay on-track with payments. The number-one way to keep improving your score is to pay your bills on time. It’s also important not to take on too much debt; so try to keep outstanding balances low and avoid missing payments or paying late.

Want even more tips for how to improve your credit score? We have a cheat-sheet on ways to improve your score. You can also get great financial resources, education, and free financial counseling from our partners at BALANCE.

Find lots of helpful articles, infographics, and videos on VantagScore's website to help you get a handle on your VantageScore.

Have more credit questions? Ask them below!

This article was adapted from our Understanding Your Credit Score seminar. See all seminars here.

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