Q: What should I do to make sure my credit score’s not negatively impacted?

Understanding credit scores and how they are calculated is often very confusing for consumers. A credit score, also called a FICO® score generally ranges from 300-850. The higher your score, the better credit risk banks think you are, which typically results in lower interest rates and easier loan approvals.

Ninety percent of top U.S. lenders use FICO® Scores when making loan decisions. The three national credit bureaus that creditors report to are Transunion, Experian & Equifax.

So, what makes up this all-important credit score?

Payment History:  This makes up 35% of your score. This one is simple: Pay your bills on time. Creditors will report late payments to the credit bureaus once they are 30 days past due.

If you have a few late payments on your credit report, don’t panic. We’re human and mistakes will happen. An overall good credit picture can outweigh one or two late credit card payments. However, a late house payment can be a little less forgiving because mortgage loans are weighted heavier than other types of credit.

This article, written by our team member, Holly Wheeler, originally appeared on nwaMotherlode.com. To read the rest of the post, click here.