Dear Ash Cash,

What affects my credit score and what can I do to fix it?

Hi Manny,

For those who are not familiar, your credit score or F.I.C.O. is a

credit reporting system started by the Fair Isaacs Corporation. It is

a numerical measurement of your credit worthiness that ranges from 300

to 850. Your F.I.C.O. score is used by most lenders to determine

whether or not you can obtain credit.

Your score can stop your from getting loans, renting or buying a home,

purchasing a car, opening a bank account or even getting a job.

Getting a handle on your F.I.C.O. score is easy if you educate

yourself on how F.I.C.O. is calculated then discipline yourself. The

five categories that is used to calculate your score are: How much

debt you have or usage (30%), Your payment history (35%), Your debt

usage ratio (How much you owe in relation to your credit limit) (30%),

How far back your credit history goes (15%), New credit (10%) and your

mix of various types of credit (10%)

Because new credit, length of credit history, and credit mix take

longer to fix to have an immediately (6months-1year) impact on your

credit it is important that you concentrate of paying your bills on

time (35%) and bringing down your usage (30%). If you have late

payments in the past don’t fret too much because your score is damaged

by the most recently reported derogatory information, so derogatory

information reported prior to 2 years does not highly impact your

score. As far as usage, just make sure that you are not spending more

than 30% of your allotted credit limit ie; if you have a $1,000 credit

card don’t spend more than $300… If you concentrate on those two

things you will be positively affecting your score by 65%….

If your score is not good enough to obtain new credit then apply for a

secured credit card or loan.. Those are great ways to build up your


For more information or questions on financial tips, check out his new book at

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