How do credit missteps affect FICO Scores?

You may run into financial difficulties that impact your FICO score.

Some difficulties may change your score by a small amount, others can drop your score significantly.

What your score was before the difficulty appeared on your credit report also can make a difference.

Here is a comparison of the impact that credit problems can have on the FICO scores of two different people: .


Score after one of these is added to the credit report


As you can see, maxing out a credit card has the smallest impact of these credit missteps.

Declaring bankruptcy has the biggest impact to their scores

For someone with a high credit score of 780, declaring bankruptcy could lower her score by as much as 240 points.

That's because the credit scoring model generally gives the most weight to payment history when calculating the score, and bankruptcy is included in one's payment history. Also, a bankruptcy often involves more than one credit account.


Settling a credit card debt is the third credit problem listed

It means that the lender agrees to accept less than the amount owed on the account.

A settled account indicates a higher level of risk and typically happens only when an account is overdue. 

Many different combinations of information on a credit report can produce a FICO score of 680 or 780.

Depending on what's on your own credit report, your credit score experience may vary

By taking a look at your own credit report and comparing it to the profile  you might be able to learn what to expect if you happen to encounter a credit misstep.

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the credit scoring model generally gives the most weight to payment history when calculating the score

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