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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

February 8, 2016 - 8:57am -- Anonymous

How many of you know what your credit score is?  While there are many different scores, more than 144 million Americans or about 33% haven’t viewed their credit score in the past year.  More than 74% of college students don’t know what their score is and women are more apt than men to be aware of their score according to

There have been several TV commercials focusing on the importance of your “number”.  Did you know that:

  • Not only does it affect your ability to get a loan, but it could influence your insurance rates, your ability to rent, or even an application for a job.
  • The average consumer’s oldest open credit line is 18 years.  Do you know what yours is?
  • Nine open credit cards is the average per consumer.
  • The range of credit scores goes from 300 to 850 with the national average being 691.
  • Your age, race, income, or job title have no impact on your credit score.

So, just what formula is used to figure out what constitutes our credit score?  While it’s not exact, the following factors are strong contributors.

  • 35% is payment history - how often do you pay your bills on time?  Making just one late payment could lower your score significantly and will take a long time to recover.  Make sure you have a good record keeping system and pay bills on time.
  • 30% is the total amount owed.  How much of your total credit have you used?  If you use more than 20% of your credit limit, it may lower your credit score.  For example if the total of your limits on your credit cards equals $20,000 using more than 20% or $4,000 could lower your score.
  • 15% is how long have you had credit history?  The longer you have been responsible with credit use the higher your score will likely be.
  • 10% is how much new credit do you have?  If you open several accounts in a short amount of time, that can lower your score. And finally,
  • 10% is the type of credit, is it revolving credit (credit cards) or installment (loan repayment) credit?

We have more opportunities to be aware with the information being included in each credit card statement we receive.  They outline what the minimum payment is and how long it will take to complete the payments with the total interest cost.  Paying close attention to these details will help us all be more in control of our money.   Every year we are each entitled to one free credit report from one of the three major reporting agencies.   Check out free credit report .com to see what your information is and make sure it is accurate.  If you have questions, give me a call at 330-264-8722.