Your credit score is a three-digit number that summarizes your credit history at any given point in time. There are specific things that influence your credit score including: whether you pay your bills on time, the balance and credit limit on your credit cards, how long you've been using credit, the types of accounts you have, and the number of recent credit and loan applications you've made.
Not everything you do influences your credit score. These are some things that aren't included in the credit score calculation.Federal law prevents credit scores from being calculated on the basis of:
- Your race, color, nationality, gender, and marital status.
- Whether you receive public assistance.
- Whether you've exercised your rights under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act or the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- Your age.
- Your salary, employer, employment information.
- How much money you have in the bank.
- Where you live.
- Whether you pay child support or alimony.
- Your own requests for your credit report.
- "Soft" requests for your credit report made by banks for promotional reasons and businesses that you already have a relationship with.
- Whether you're receiving credit counseling.
- Information that's not on your credit report.
Keep in mind that while FICO is the credit score that's most widely-used by lenders, some banks have their own credit scoring models that could take into account any of the information listed above. When you're applying for a mortgage or other type of loan, it's a good idea to ask what criteria the lender uses to approve applications. That way, you know what you're being graded on.