top of page

The Secrets Behind FICO Scores

Your credit score is the secret number behind everything in your life. How much you pay for insurance, your car, rent and mortgage payments, utilities, and even whether you get a job or not, are ALL based on your credit score. As important as your credit score is, do you really know how it works? Well the good news is you are about to learn the hidden secrets behind your credit scores…

Payment History - 35%

Your payment history is the largest aspect of your credit score accounting for 35% of your overall score.

This aspect of your total score calculation is based on your prior payment history with your creditors. Late payments, defaulted accounts, and all other NEGATIVE information on your credit report have the greatest effect.

The more paid-as-agreed accounts you have and the less negative accounts, the higher the credit score.

Capacity vs Amounts Owed - 30%

The second largest factor in your credit score is the amount you owe on your individual accounts relative to your high credit limits on those accounts. This accounts for 30% of your total score.

You will be scored higher if you owe 30% or less of the high credit limit.

If you are carrying high credit card balances, you can actually hurt your credit scores almost as much as paying the account late every month.

Length of Credit History - 15%

Your “time in the bureau” accounts for 15% of your credit score. The longer you have had credit accounts for, the higher the score.

As you have more accounts throughout your life and your credit history grows over time, your scores will naturally increase due to this factor.

Accumulation of new debt - 10%

This aspect of your credit score is composed of how much new debt you are applying for.

It considers how many requests you have for new credit within a 12 month time period.

If you go out today and apply for credit, that creditor requests information from the credit bureaus. This counts as an inquiry on your report.

If you have a lot of inquiries in a short period of time, your scores will be impacted.

Healthy mix of credit accounts - 10%

Your credit score takes into account the “mix” of credit items you have on your report.

This part of your credit score is affected by what kinds of accounts you have and how many of each.

The bureaus will score you higher if you have an open mortgage, 3 credit cards, 1 auto loan, and a small amount of other open accounts.

If you have a lot of credit cards, your scores will be lowered. If you have several mortgages, your scores will be lowered. Any, “unhealthy” account mixes lower your scores.

So, to obtain the best credit score make sure you pay your accounts on time, do not keep high balances on your open accounts, keep a healthy mix of credit accounts open always, and do not apply for too much new credit in a short period of time.

If you follow these steps you will be on your way to an exceptional credit score.


About the Author

Jeff Boe is a graduate of National American University, a Board-Certified Credit Consultant, and the President of Boe Credit Consulting. In 2005 he successfully rehabilitated his own credit and, since then, has been working with other consumers to educate them about and help them with improving their credit.

In 2018, Jeff started Boe Credit Consulting as a way reach more consumers with the intent to help them with improving their credit reports and scores as well as their financial literacy so they can maintain a good credit rating and achieve their financial goals.

For more information, visit

©2020 Boe Credit Consulting


bottom of page