A credit score is a number on a scale from 300 to 850 that is determined based on your credit history. That number and the factors that make it up help lenders decide whether you’re a safe candidate to loan money to.
Credit is determined by several factors, including payment history, amount owed, length of credit history, how much new credit you have, and the kinds of credit you use. Payment history is the biggest one and makes up 35% of your credit score, so if you pay all your bills on time your score will probably be reasonably high.
The second most important factor is how much debt you have, which is 30% of your score. High amounts of student loan debt, mortgages, auto loans, and others can reduce your credit score. After that, length of credit history makes up 15%, so the older you are and the longer you’ve been building credit, the better it will be.
The last 20% is new credit and type of credit. Lots of new credit, like new credit cards or inquiries, harms your score, and having a variety of kinds of credit—loans, credit cards, store accounts, and more—helps your score.