BACK

Videos

Video: How your credit mix and new credit affect your score

Summary

Your FICO score is determined by five main factors, including your new credit and your credit mix. Find out what these terms mean and how you can take control of your credit score

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Your FICO score isn’t just some random number. It shows credit card companies, landlords and bill providers how financially fit you are. You probably already know that paying your debt in full and on time equals a healthy score. But there are a couple of lesser known factors that affect your score, too.

New credit and credit mix each make up 10 percent of your FICO score. But what do they mean, exactly? For one, applying for new credit can hurt your score. FICO says borrowers with too much new debt are more likely to be delinquent or miss payments.

To gauge new credit, FICO looks at how many accounts you’ve opened in the past six to 12 months, how long it’s been since you’ve opened those new accounts, and how many recent inquiries you’ve had on your report. There are two types of inquires: soft ones and hard ones.

When you pull your own report, that’s a soft inquiry and it won’t hurt your score. When you apply for new credit, however, and the lender pulls your report, that’s a hard inquiry, and it can hurt. To keep your score intact, FICO recommends only opening credit accounts you actually need.

And then there’s credit mix. FICO likes to see a little variety on your report, from credit cards to mortgages to car payments. It shows you can handle different types of debt. Does that mean you should go apply for a loan just to mix things up? No way! Again, you want to be selective and only use credit when you need it.

It helps to know what impacts your score, but in general, if you pay your debt in full and on time, you’ll be in good shape.

See related: What is your credit utilization ratio?, FICO’s five credit score factors

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

What’s up next?

Credit Card Rate Report Updated: March 25th, 2020
Business
14.34%
Airline
16.33%
Cash Back
16.55%
Reward
16.49%
Student
16.51%

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.