It is important to us at Alaska Air Group Credit Union that our members know and understand their credit scores. These three digit number, typically between 300 and 850, represent your credit risk, or the likelihood you will pay your bills on time.
Credit Scores are calculated based on a method using the content of your consumer file, but what exact information is considered in the calculation of a credit score?
Here is a breakdown of what makes up your credit score:
This is how you have repaid the credit you have currently or in the recent past. This is a big one! It represents 35% of the credit score.
Used Credit vs Available Credit
How much of your credit line is being used on credit cards and other revolving lines of credit. This represents 30% of the credit score.
Tip: Keep your accounts active but keep balances as low as possible.
Tip: If you want to improve your score quickly pay down or payoff credit cards.
Type of Credit Used
This is the type of credit in your credit file; installment (auto loans, mortgage, signature loans, etc.) vs revolving credit, (credit cards, personal lines of credit, etc.) Creditors generally like to see a demonstrated ability to handle a variety of credit types. The type of credit in your consumer credit file represents 15% of your score.
The score model considers how many new credit accounts have been opened compared to how many credit accounts (known as “tradelines”in the industry) are in your credit file. Credit score models take into account how many recent requests for credit you have initiated.
Several credit report inquiries from creditors (hard pulls) in short length of time can have a negative impact on your score. Credit pulls made by a creditor to make a pre-approved credit offer or to review an existing account are soft pulls and do not impact the credit score. New account category represents 10-12% of the credit score.
Length of Credit History
The model looks at how long your credit accounts have been established, calculating how long the oldest and most recent “tradelines” have been established. The length of credit history represents 5-7% of your score.
Tip: Avoid closing your oldest tradeline even if you do not use the account. Closing your oldest trade line can have a negative impact on your credit score.
The Credit Score is a snap shot in time and may vary from one day to another depending on account activity and timing of the reporting by financial institutions to the credit reporting agencies.
Check your credit! Consumers are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian). Visit here to obtain your free credit report.
Tip: stagger your reports obtain one report every 4 months to monitor your credit file free for the year.
If you find any inaccurate information in your credit file you can dispute the inaccurate information by completing the dispute form that accompanies your report.
If you believe you are a victim of Identity Theft or want to learn about how to prevent Identity Theft, visit the Federal Trade Commission for additional information.