Areas We Serve

NMLS ID#849168 www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org

State Licenses Issued by:
NC Commission of Banks #L-153764
SC Board of Financial Institutions #MLS 849168
TN Dept. of Financial Institutions #113679
VA State Corporation Commission #MC-5622

CREDIT FACTS

Do you have questions about credit? We can help! Below is information regarding the often mysterious Credit Score, and factors that affect your score.

Your Credit Score is an indicator of your ability to repay a debt in the future, based on your credit history. The 5 Main Factors considered in establishing your score, listed in order of importance are:

#1 Payment History:  Paying your bills on time is the MOST IMPORTANT factor used to establish your credit score (about 35% of total score). One 30-day late payment can drop your score by 80 points or more! It can take you several months to 3+ years to earn those lost points back!

#2 Amount of Debt Owed:  Unsecured debt (credit cards) is scored more strict than secured loans (auto, mortgage, etc). It’s best to keep the balance on unsecured debt low – ideally keep credit cards below 25% of the credit limit and not more than 50%. Once you’re above 50% of your credit limit, your score can be negatively affected! Example: If you have a credit card with a limit of 1,000,
try to keep your balance at $250 but no more than $500. Debt owed makes up 30% of your credit score!

#3 Length of Credit History:  The longer you have maintained a clean payment history on an account, the better your score. This factor is about 15% of your total score measurement.

#4 New Credit:  New accounts have no history so they don’t offer much to gauge your ability to repay a future debt, but they do show that you have established credit. This is about 10% of your score.

#5 Types of Credit:  A mix of credit types is generally considered better than all one type of credit. This makes up about 10% of your credit score.

CREDIT TIPS

Mix of Accounts is based on types of credit. The ideal credit score is made up of a combination of installment and revolving accounts and looks like this:

Mortgage Loan (Installment) Auto Loan (Installment) 3-5 Credit Cards (Revolving)*

*It’s important to note, all credit cards are NOT created equal. Credit cards to retail stores will not earn you as much in credit score as cards such as Visa and MasterCard.

Closing Credit Accounts is not advisable. Doing so can actually have a negative impact on your credit score. Never close old credit accounts, especially if the accounts have a long history.

Credit Score Improvement

Improve your credit score within 45 Days by using some or all of these 5 simple things:

  • 1. Pay past due accounts
  • 2. Eliminate late payments
  • 3. Have credit limits increased
  • 4. Become an authorized user (if you need to build credit)
  • 5. Do not close old accounts

Inquiries do not always affect your score. When shopping for a “same type” loan for auto, mortage or student loan, inquiries made within the same 45 days, will only count as 1 inquiry.

Example: when shopping for a car, you have 45 days to shop and as long as all credit reports are obtained within the same 45 day period, they will only count as one inquiry. Or if you apply with one mortgage company and decide to switch to another, the credit inquiries from these companies will count as one, as long as the second mortgage company obtains the credit report within 45 days of the first.

If you’re shopping for a mortgage and a car, these are separate inquiries and will count as two. Generally, each inquiry can egatively affect your score about 5 points. If inquiries from unsecured debt (credit cards) have a higher negative impact on the score. After 10 inquiries per year, additional inquiries will no longer affect the score for that same year.

Review your Credit Report regularly! Credit Reports are NOT always correct, they often have errors. You should obtain your credit report annually at www.annualcreditreport.com where it is free to you, once per year.

Quick Summary

  • Make payments on time
  • Keep account balances low – ideally below 25% of credit limit on revolving accounts
  • Bring current any active past due accounts
  • Limit applications for new unsecured debt (credit cards and department stores)
  • Review your credit report at least once per year for errors at www.annualcreditreport.com
  • Avoid credit repair and debt management scams – go to www.ftc.gov/moneymatters for more information
  • Check out www.myfico.com for other suggestions

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