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How We See It

Heath Hamberlin

Heath Hamberlin

December 31, 2012

What is a Credit Score?
By: Heath Hamberlin, Vice President & Commercial Lending Officer

A credit score is a three-digit number between 300 and 850 based on a computer analysis of your credit history. The primary credit-scoring model in the United States is provided by the Fair Isaac Corporation and is known as a FICO score. The three credit bureaus:  Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion each provide a FICO score with their credit reports.  As a result, each consumer has three separate FICO scores.

Your FICO score is based on five categories of information:  Payment History, Amounts Owed, Length of Credit History, New Credit, and Types of Credit Used. The FICO scoring model weighs each of these categories differently as
seen below:


Credit Score Pie Chart

  • Payment History –Payment history includes past due payments, how long the payments were past due, and the length of time since the last past due payments. This category also takes into account legal actions such as bankruptcies, judgments, suits, liens and wage attachments.
  • Amounts Owed – This category compares your balances owed, outstanding balances compared to your credit limit, and number of accounts you have balances on.
  • Length of Credit History – This category considers the length of time your accounts have been open since your last activity on the account and the length of time since the last credit inquiries.
  • New Credit – The activity of opening new accounts and having new credit inquiries.
  • Types of Credit Used – The mix of revolving credit vs. installment debt and the number of accounts you have.

Information such as age, race, address, marital status, income and employment DOES NOT affect the score.

It is important to check your credit report for mistakes so you can correct any problems. Recent legislation requires the three credit bureaus to provide consumers a free credit report annually. The website,, was set up by the three credit bureaus to facilitate giving consumers their free annual credit report. Unfortunately, this legislation does not provide for a free credit score, which will cost you
around $5.95. 

Heath Hamberlin
NMLS # 458235


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