State Treasurer of Iowa

Tip from the Treasurer: How is your credit score calculated?

Your credit score is one of the most important measures of your creditworthiness. It’s important for Iowans to understand what impacts their credit score. Understanding what goes into your calculation can make the difference when trying to build or maintain good credit. Here are the factors affecting your credit:

  • Payment history counts for 35 percent of FICO. To lenders, your history of payments indicates whether you’ll make payments on time in the future. A FICO score summarizes your information in a credit report into a single number, allowing lenders to assess your credit risk quickly. The higher the score, the better.
  • Amounts owed count for 30 percent of your FICO score. A high percentage doesn’t necessarily mean a low score, but it may indicate a potential for late or missed payments.
  • Length of credit history counts for 15 percent of your FICO score. The age of your oldest account indicates to lenders how much experience you have handling your credit.
  • Types of credit in use counts for 10 percent. What type of credit is being used? Lenders will consider your mix of credit cards, retail accounts, installment (such as auto or student loans) and mortgage loans. This factor is more important if the credit report does not have much other information.
  • New credit counts for 10 percent of your FICO score. Opening multiple accounts in a relatively short timeframe will end up hurting the overall score, especially if there is a short credit history.

For more information on FICO credit scores and their calculation visit MyFICO. To receive a free copy of your credit report (offered annually by each of the three credit reporting agencies) visit


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