Credit scores or FICO scores are calculated from different data in your credit report. Percentages in the accompanying chart show the importance that each category has in determing your credit score.

Here’s a rundown of the categories and the information included in each one.

Payment history:

  • Payment information on specific types of accounts such as credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance-company accounts and mortgages.
  • Presence of adverse public records (bankruptcy, legal judgments, lawsuits, liens, wage attachments), collection items and/or delinquency (past due) items.
  • Severity of delinquency.  For example, how long was it past due?
  • Amount past due on delinquent accounts or collection items.
  • Time since last delinquent item, adverse public records or collection items (if any.)
  • Number of past-due items on file.
  • Number of accounts paid as agreed upon.

Amounts owed:

  • Amounts owed on accounts and the types of accounts.
  • Lack of a specific type of balance (in some cases.)
  • The number of accounts with remaining balances.
  • Proportion of credit lines used (proportion of balances to total credit limits on certain revolving accounts.)
  • Proportion of the installment loan amount still owed. This involves the proportion of balance to the original loan amount made on certain installment loans.

Length of credit history:

  • Time since any accounts were opened and specific type of accounts.
  • Time since the accounts became active.

New credit:

  • Number of recently opened accounts and proportion of those by account type.
  • Number of recent credit inquiries, and the time span since those credit inquiries.
  • Time since recent accounts, by type of account.
  • Re-establishment of positive credit history following any past payment problems.

Types of credit used:

  • Credit cards.
  • Retail accounts.
  • Installment loans.
  • Mortgages.
  • Consumer-finance accounts.

Keep in mind, a score takes into consideration all of these categories, not just one or two. Your FICO score looks only at information in your credit report, both positive and negative.

While there is a lot of information included in your credit score, there are many things that aren’t included.

These points include such things as:

  • Information about race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status and age.
  • Your salary, occupation, job title, employer, date employed or employment history.
  •  Where you live.
  • Any interest rate being charged on a particular credit card or other accounts.
  • Items reported as child/family support obligations or any rental agreements.
  • Certain types of inquiries, such as requests for your credit report.
  • Any financial information not found in your credit report.
  • Any information that isn’t proven to be predictive of your future credit performance.
  • Whether or not you’re participating in credit counseling.