How to Calculate a Credit Score
Exactly how credit reporting agencies calculate a credit score is proprietary information. All anyone knows is that it’s based on how your credit history compares to a general average credit history.
However, you can generally calculate a range of scores you fall into. Here’s how.
Figure Out Your Credit Score
1. Go over the potential problems section of your credit report. Problems, including delinquent accounts or bankruptcies, affect about 30 percent of your credit score. The more issues on your credit report, the lower your credit score.
2. Look at the accounts in the good standing section next. This information balances the potential problems reported on your credit history. It can pull that same 30 percent back up and raise your credit score with it.
3. Pay special attention to the payment history in your history of account balances. This section will list out up to 2 years of past payments. Up to 35 percent of your credit score is based on this information, which can make a big difference if you are regularly late with payments.
4. Note the requests for your credit history. These only make up about 10 percent of your credit score and they only negatively affect your score if you applied for new credit from many sources at once.
5. Calculate your credit score by taking all of these factors into account, as well as how long you’ve had credit. Compare your credit history to a perfect history, which would rate a score of 850 to get an idea of where your score falls.
Tips & Warnings
- The information listed on your credit report may change depending on which credit reporting agency you requested it from. Some creditors report only to one of the three major agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion).
- Credit scores typically range from 300 to 850. Anything under 650 would be considered a low score, while anything above 750 would be considered a high credit score.
- If you think your credit history should give you a higher credit score than you actually have, you should check over your credit reports to make sure that there are no errors or fraudulent claims.
- Bankruptcies and other major black marks can drag your credit score down for up to 10 years, even if you build a good payment history afterwards.