What Impacts Your Credit Score?

Learn how to establish a strong foundation to gain credit worthiness.

Not all factors are created equal when it comes to your credit score. Some, such as total credit usage, are influential, while others are less important, like new accounts opened. While everyone’s credit profile is different, there are similarities in what lenders look for in a borrower’s history to make their lending decisions, listed below. Learn how credit scores are determined. Each is ranked from most important to least.

  • Total Credit Usage, Balance, and Available Credit

    Experts advise that to have credit scores considered “good” or “excellent,” you should use 30% or less of the total credit available to you. For example, if you have a credit card with a $1,000 limit, it’s best to not carry a balance on that card of more than $300.

  • Credit Mix and Experience

    A credit mix that’s varied, such as a car loan, a credit card, and a mortgage, demonstrates to lenders that you’re able to responsibly manage different types of credit responsibly over time. Take steps to increase the types of credit you access.

  • Payment History

    Payment history is important to lenders. If you’ve missed even one payment, your credit score suffers, making it more difficult to open additional credit accounts or access additional funds through the accounts you already have. Do everything you can to stay current.

  • Age of Credit History

    Time has a positive impact on your credit score. The longer you’ve had a credit account, the better—which is why it’s important to establish credit early in adulthood if possible.

  • New Accounts Opened

    Too many new accounts opened in a short amount of time can result in denial of credit. To protect and grow your credit score, it’s best to space out your applications for credit cards and other credit accounts.


Not a Factor


What factors don’t count when VantageScore scores consumers?

Great question! We do not include race, color, religion, nationality, gender, marital status, age, salary, occupation, employer, employment history, where you live, or even your total assets, when determining your credit score.