Payment history makes up the largest portion of your FICO credit score

Improving your credit score: Payment history

Your payment history is an important factor in your FICO® score.*  

Your past payment history is the biggest factor affecting your FICO® credit scores, according to Fair Issac Corporate, which generates FICO® scores. Making full payments on time, every time, is one way to improve your FICO® credit score. When you miss a payment, you may see a drop in your score and it can take time to restore.

What is a FICO® credit score and what goes into it?
A credit score is a calculation that indicates how likely you are to pay back debts. The FICO® score is the most common type, and is a three digit number (between 300 and 850), where a higher score means more likely to pay back a debt. It is calculated by a math formula that takes into account the following factors:

Payment history (35%)
Amount owed (30%)
Length of credit history (15%)
Credit mix (10%)
New credit (10%)

 Learn more

Here are three ways to help ensure your payments are paid in full and on time:

  1. Make the payments you commit to, and don’t commit to things you can’t pay. Missing payments hurts your financial reputation. If you’re struggling to make your payments, develop a plan to resolve it. There are many non-profit financial counselors that may be able to help.
  2. Set up payment reminders. If you owe money to the same business on a repeating schedule, find out if they offer payment reminders. Often, they’ll send you an SMS text message, email, or a telephone reminder. Many banks also offer payment reminders—check your account settings.
  3. Set up automatic payments. If you have a bank account, many banks allow you to set up recurring payments through a tool called bill pay. Some businesses also allow you to connect your bank or credit card to your business account to make automatic payments. Check your online-portal, or call your bank or the business to ask.

Making payments on time, every time is the most reliable way to build and maintain a good credit score. So spend a little time up front to make making payments as easy as possible in the future.

Struggling with your monthly budget? Do some research to find out if there are cheaper phone plans. Try calling your cable company to get a lowered bill. Your electricity company might be able to connect you to financial aid. Or, check out our database for local help from non-profits and government organizations that can get your finances on track (grocery assistance, employment training, counseling, and more).

*FICO® is solely responsible for its credit score calculation. Information contained on the FICO® website is its own content and is not managed, sponsored or endorsed by Oportun. Oportun does not require a credit score to qualify for its products nor does Oportun rely on this score.

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