According to FICO, they weigh different aspects of credit differently:
A credit score is a single number that helps lenders and others decide how likely you are to repay your debts. One kind of credit score is a FICO score (FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation, the company that developed a common scoring method). FICO scores range from 300 – 850 points.
When you apply for a mortgage, your credit score is evaluated. Your credit score will be used to determine the terms of your mortgage and the interest rate.
Your credit score is based on several types of information contained in your credit report:
Your payment history.
Late payments will decrease your credit score.
The amount of debt you owe.
If your credit cards are at their limits, this can lower your credit score - even if the amount you owe isn't large.
How long you've used credit.
Your credit history is important. If you show a pattern of managing your credit wisely, keeping credit card balances low, and paying your bills on time, your credit score will be positively affected.
How often you apply for new credit and take on new debt.
If you've applied for several credit cards at the same time, your credit score can go down.
The types of credit you currently use.
This includes credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts, and mortgages.
Your credit score is only one factor in the credit decision. Mortgage lenders also look at your credit report, employment history, income, debt-to-income ratio, and the value of the home you want to buy.
FICO does not make specific statistics available to the public regarding credit scores. However, they do provide a snapshot that can help you understand how to interpret your credit score:
It is important to remember that credit scores are like snapshots of your credit – they show a "picture" of your credit based on current information. By using credit wisely, you can improve your score over time.
It’s always in your best interest to improve your credit score. The good news is that no credit score lasts forever - it changes over time, so you can improve it over time.
Every time you apply for a loan or credit card, use credit, or make or miss a payment, you build another entry in your credit report. You also raise or lower your credit score.
Here are ways you can improve your credit score over time:
Sometimes, credit reporting agencies make mistakes that can damage your credit record, so it is important to check your credit report at least annually. If you see something wrong on your credit report, fix it immediately.
There is no "magic" way to fix your credit – only good credit practices and time.
Be wary of credit agencies that say they can "fix" your credit. For a step-by-step guide to fixing your own credit, visit the Federal Trade Commission's Credit Repair Web page.