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Fortunately, having extant debt doesn't inherently indicate that you're a high-risk borrower to potential lenders. That said, if the information included in your Amounts Owed category shows that you're using a lot of your available credit, that could negatively impact your FICO score.

If you have a long credit history, that will always be good for your FICO score. The Credit Mix category represents the different kinds of accounts that make up your credit report, such as credit cards, mortgages, student loans, etc. As such, having a healthy credit mix in conjunction with a good payment history shows how well you're able to handle several different loans and lines of credit.

The New Credit category is perhaps the most straightforward. Having multiple new credit accounts noted on your credit report within a short time period represents a greater risk for lenders, especially if you also lack a lengthy credit history. Some of the most important factors are:. But you should still take the time to pre-qualify and compare rates, fees, and other terms. Most of the lenders we evaluated make it easy to pre-qualify and compare, and borrowers should always get a few offers in hand before deciding.

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