A credit score is a three-digit number used by financial institutions to evaluate your creditworthiness, or the likelihood that you’ll pay back your debts. When a consumer applies for a credit card, mortgage, student loan, auto loan or other line of credit, a lender usually pulls a credit score to help the lender decide whether or not to extend credit.

There are six key credit-influencing factors that are commonly used in calculating your credit score, although the actual credit score number may differ depending on which credit bureau (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) pulls the information and what kind of credit score model is used.

Here are the six main factors and how they can impact your credit score.

  • Open Credit Card Utilization

  • Percent of On-Time Payments

  • Number of Derogatory Marks

  • Average Age of Open Credit Lines

  • Total Number of Accounts

  • Total Hard Credit Inquiries


It’s important to know that, while some of these factors are weighted more heavily than others, no one factor works independently of the others. Each one can contribute to your overall credit score.