Credit Scores & Reports

Keeping track of your credit report is a smart move. Not only can it help alert you of possible identity theft, it’s also a way to make sure your information and credit history are correct–which is especially important if you’re about to apply for a loan.

What determines your credit score?

35% Payment history (ie on-time payments, or delinquencies
30% Current payment history weighted more heavily
15% Capacity (Capacity is King)
10% Length of credit

Accumulation of debt within the last 12 – 18 months

Number of Inquiries

Opening dates

10% Mix of credit

  • Installment (debt can raise) vs. revolving (debt can lower)
  • Finance company loans (can lower score)
  • How can you improve your score?
  • Pay off or pay down on your credit cards
  • Do not close credit card accounts because capacity may decrease
  • Move your revolving debt into installment debt
  • Continue to make payments on time (older late payments will become less significant with time)
  • Slow down opening new accounts
  • Acquire a solid credit history with years of experience 

What actions will hurt your credit score?

  • Missing payments (regardless of dollar amounts – it can take up to 24 months to restore credit with one late payment)
  • Credit cards at maximum capacity (maxing out credit cards
  • Shopping for credit excessively
  • Opening up numerous trades (credit lines) in a short time frame
  • Having more revolving credit debt in relation to installment credit debt
  • Closing credit card accounts (this could lower available capacity)
  • Borrowing from finance companies

What does not affect your credit score?

  • Debt ratios
  • Income
  • Length of residence
  • Length of employment

Approximate credit weight for each year:

40% Current to 12 months
30% 13 – 24 months
20% 25 – 36 months
10% 37+ months
As an American consumer you’re entitled to one free credit report per year, from each of the big three consumer credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). That’s right; it’s free. So really, there’s no reason not to give them a call.

Annual Credit Report Request Service

You can order a credit report from one or more national consumer reporting companies through the Annual Credit Report Request Service.

P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

You can receive one credit report per year at no charge by visiting:, to order your credit reports directly, call 1.877.322.8228


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