What’s in a Credit Score?

Your credit score is one of the most important items to know and keep in good standing, but what makes up a score, anyway?

The three major credit reporting bureaus – Experian™, TransUnion® and Equifax® – each offer one free report each year. Request your report by visiting Once you receive your report, look at it closely; if you see any errors, start by disputing those.

Take responsibility for the portions of your score you can control. Make sure your credit limits for existing cards are correct. Use your credit card responsibly each month; never use more than thirty percent of your credit limit. Pay off your bill at the end of each month to avoid carrying a balance or paying interest – both things that can lower your credit score.

Sometimes other people or companies, like a landlord or bank, request your credit score. This is called a hard inquiry. Too many hard inquiries can also lower your credit score. Try to limit the number of times someone else pulls your credit report.

Finally, remember the best thing you can do for your credit: Pay your bills on time! Your payment history makes up more than a third of your credit score. This includes expenses like utilities and car payments, not just credit card bills. Take a hard look at what you’re spending and see where you can save each month if you’re having trouble keeping up with your expenses.

A credit score doesn’t have to be complicated. Discover more financial insights and products from AAA at AAA.com.