Your credit score is key for getting financing for your new vehicle purchase as well as for other major purchases you’ll make down the line. If you aren’t sure how to improve your credit score, or if you just want to know what makes up this mysterious yet all-important number, the following are the major influencers of your credit score.
Not surprisingly, your history of paying bills on time is the biggest factor influencing your credit score. This makes up about 35 percent of your score, so making late payments or skipping payments altogether is the surest way to sink your number. To boost this, you want to establish that you pay your bills on time or as close to your payment date as possible.
The amount of debt that you’re carrying makes up another 30 percent of your credit score. This includes your credit utilization ratio, which weighs how much you are borrowing versus how much you are able to borrow. An ideal credit utilization ratio is under 30 percent.
A lender is more likely to trust someone who has a long history of borrowing money and paying it back on time. The longer your credit history, the better, which is why it’s sometimes recommended that you maintain old credit cards even after you’ve paid off your balances and stopped using them. Credit history length makes up about 15 percent of your score.
Having too many new credit accounts can hinder your credit score, as can making hard inquiries such as those you make when applying for a new line of credit. This 10 percent of your credit score can be boosted by minimizing the amount of new credit applications you file within a 12-month period.
The rest of your credit score rests on the kinds of credit you have. Lenders like to see that you are able to carry a wide mix of types of credit, so it’s good to have credit cards, mortgages, student debt, and auto loans so long as you are managing all your payments.
If you need help maximizing your credit potential, the finance team at Wondries Toyota can help.