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Credit Score: What Influences It

Nearly all of us have heard the term credit score. This magical number that seems to hold control over most of our financial decisions. The credit score will decide whether or not you get financing on a home, car or other types of loans. They influence the amount of interest paid and even insurance rates. Some are even claiming that those with low credit scores can have difficulty finding employment in certain sectors. The credit score is vitally important and keeping it as high as possible can make a big difference in one’s financial life.

There are several features the influence a credit score. One of the most important factors is past payment history. Paying your bills on time is important because it helps you to establish a good track record. It also shows that you are a reliable person when it comes to meeting your financial obligations.

Payment history makes up about 35% of the total credit score. If you always pay your bills on time then this part of your credit score is sound. However, if you don’t then credit companies will start to ask other questions. For instance if you have a few late payments that are few and far between, then this will not effect your overall score much. However, if this is a frequent occurrence then things change. They will look at how often you make late payments and how late the are. A payment that is a few days late does not carry as much weight as those that are several months late. They will also look at all of your accounts. If you have several and only one shows a few late payments, then again it isn’t going to do a world of damage. However, if several accounts show frequent late payments then the story changes.

Your credit scores can be highly influenced is any of your credit accounts have been turned over to collections. If you owe money on an account, and make no payments in a certain amount of time, (usually 90-120 days) the company can turn the account over to a collections agency. Your credit score is automatically lowered and will remain there until this account is cleared.

Finally, bankruptcy can have a detrimental effect on your credit score. It will depend on the type of bankruptcy you declare but generally those that have been though this process are barred from getting further credit for several years.

Several factors influence your credit score. Payment history is one of the major components. By maintaining a good payment history and keeping up with all of your commitments, you will give yourself the best chance of keeping that credit score high.

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