A credit rating is a number used by banks and other financial institutions to represent your lendability. Generally, it ranges from around 300 to 850 and is determined by the Fair Isaacs Corporations (FICO). This is one of the biggest factors in not only determining if you will be approved for a car loan, but it can also determine the rates lenders set for you.
The biggest factors include the following:
-Length of Credit
-Types of Credit
Lenders will use your overall credit rating to determine the risk of lending money to you. The biggest factor, payment history, accounts for roughly 35% of your credit score. Plain and simple, paying your bills on time will put you ahead in this category.
The amounts owed part represents about 30% of your score. This includes the size of bank loans that have been given to you. For example, a large student loan may carry more weight than a miscellaneous $500 loan. If other institutions have trusted you with large amounts of money, then you are more likely to get that loan again.
Your length of credit history is about 15% of you credit score. If you have made steady payments on a large loan over the course of several years, this demonstrates that you are financially responsible. Showing lenders that you can maintain regular payments is always great for getting a new loan, especially one with low rates.
Finally, the types of credit and account inquiries count for 10% of your credit rating, each. Using a wide range of credit types at once (like credit cards, car loans, student loans, and mortgages) can be both good and bad. Generally, lenders want to see that you are responsible. Too much lending could point to financial woes. The same goes for account inquiries. If you have some, it can actually up your score by showing that you use credit on occasion. However, multiple inquiries show that you are borrowing too much.
Aside from paying bills on time, it is a good idea to establish a credit history and you should regularly check your credit rating. This can be done for free once a year by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228.