How are FICO Scores calculated?

“Understanding the Five Pillars of Your FICO Scores”

FICO Scores are calculated using many different pieces of credit data in a credit report, according to myFICO. This data is grouped into five categories: payment history (35%), amounts owed (30%), length of credit history (15%), new credit (10%) and credit mix (10%).

  1. Payment history (35%)
    One of the most important factors in a FICO Score, payment history shows a lender if a person has paid past credit amounts on time.
  2. Amounts owed (30%)
    If a person is using a lot of their available credit, this may indicate that they are overextended.
  3. Length of credit history (15%)
    A longer credit history increases FICO Scores. FICO Scores take into account how long regular and specific credit accounts have been established and how long has it been since certain accounts have been used.
  4. Credit mix (10%)
    FICO Scores will consider a mix of credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts, and mortgage loans.
  5. New credit (10%)
    According to myFICO, research shows that opening several credit accounts in a short period of time represents a greater risk, especially for people who don’t have a long credit history.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • The percentages are based on the importance of the five categories for the general population. The importance of each category varies per person.
  • A FICO Score considers both positive and negative information in a credit report.
  • Late payments will lower a FICO Score.
  • Making payments on time will raise a credit score.


Navigating the world of credit can be complex, but understanding the five core components of a FICO Score can empower individuals to make informed financial decisions. By prioritizing on-time payments, maintaining low balances relative to your credit limit, fostering a long credit history, diversifying credit types, and being cautious about opening new accounts rapidly, one can optimize their FICO Score. It’s essential to remember that everyone’s financial journey is unique, and while these guidelines apply generally, individual experiences may vary.

For more ScoreCEO how-to guides, tips, and tricks visit ScoreCEO’s How-To page.


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