If you are receiving unsolicited phone calls from an entity pretending to be ACCC (a trusted non-profit credit counseling agency), please be assured that ACCC’s policy is NEVER to contact you unless you’ve explicitly requested us to call you. Also be cautious of emails from an unusual or unfamiliar domain. ACCC’s domain extension is @consumercredit.com, and any emails using a different extension should be treated with suspicion.


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ACCC offers debt relief options to individuals and families that are suffering from stress related to credit card debt by providing effective credit counseling, helping to consolidate debt, and advising on debt management.

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How is Your Credit Score Calculated?

The exact formula for calculating your credit score is an industry secret. I can see them now, sneaking around with their calculators, judging me. We don’t know how they do it, but we do know what information on which a credit score is based, and how heavily each piece of information is weighed.

*(percentages are approximate)

Prevent debt - and a lower credit score - by paying your bills on time.

Prevent debt – and a lower credit score – by paying your bills on time.

1.  Payment History (35% of score)

What is your track record?  Have you paid your accounts on time in the past?  This is an important factor in your credit score.  Accounts considered include credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts, and mortgage loans.  A few late payments won’t kill your score (though if you’re having trouble keeping up with debt, you may consider credit counseling). An overall good credit picture can outweigh a few instances.  However, having no late payments doesn’t guarantee a perfect score either.  Also considered are public record and collection items (bankruptcies, foreclosures, lawsuits, liens, and judgments).  These are pretty serious, but the older or lesser amounts count less than more recent and larger ones.

2.  Amounts Owed (30% of score)

Having credit accounts and owing money doesn’t necessarily make you a high-risk borrower with a low credit score.  But when a high percentage of your available credit has already been used, it can mean that you’re overextended and likely to miss payments.  If you are “maxing out” accounts or have  numerous accounts that have balances, then you may be seen as a high risk.

3.  Length of Credit History (15% of score)

In general, a longer credit history will increase your score.  Although, even people who haven’t been using credit very long can have a high score.  It depends on what the rest of your credit report says.  The age of your oldest account and your newest account are taken into consideration, as well as the average age of all your accounts.

4.  New Credit (10% of score)

Opening several credit accounts in a short period is a sign of greater risk – especially for those who don’t have an established credit history.  Multiple credit requests also represent greater risk.  However, the score can distinguish between a search for new credit accounts and rate shopping for something like a mortgage loan.  The score considers how many new accounts you have, and when you opened your last account.

5.  Types of Credit in Use (10% of score)

They’re looking for a “healthy mix” (whatever that is) of credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts, and mortgage loans.  You don’t need one of each, and you shouldn’t run out and open an account you don’t intend to use.  This isn’t a key factor, but it could be important if your report doesn’t have a lot of other information on which to base a score.  They’ll consider what different types of accounts you have, and how many of each.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 



Andi is a Marketing Assistant at ACCC. He is passionate about supporting financial literacy efforts and helping to educate people on the Talking Cents blog!

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