Credit cards allow consumers to pay their balance in full or make a minimum payment and “revolve” a balance to the next month. How they manage this process is one of the best indicators of their creditworthiness. It shows how they handle their debt loads and whether they make payments on time.1

Factors That May Influence Credit Scores

The biggest factor used to calculate credit scores is payment history, followed by credit utilization.2 Creditors want to see a long record of on-time payments. They also want to see how much credit consumers are using at a given time. Are they maxing out their cards and taking a long time to pay down their balances, or are they taking on debts they can easily pay at the end of each month? Payment history and credit utilization make up about two-thirds of your credit score.

A regularly used credit card, where the payments are made on time and the balance is kept relatively low, is a big boost to these factors, and not having it is a deficit.

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Getting the Right Mix

Ten percent of one’s credit score is typically weighted by credit mix.3 Creditors want to see a range of credit lines, including mortgages, auto loans and other types of installment loans, and of course, revolving accounts, to complete the picture.

The bottom line: You’ve got to give credit rating agencies something to score. Managing a credit card balance every month is one of the best ways to do that.4

Resources:

1. http://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/2012/02/15/scores-hurt-by-lack-of-revolving-accounts/

2. http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/WhatsInYourScore.aspx

3. http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/fico-score-type-credit-loan-mix-1270.php

4. http://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/2012/08/15/revolving-accounts-paid-in-full-closed-but-still-on-report/

Legal Disclaimer: The articles and information provided herein are for informational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice. 

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