5 Items You Think Affect Your Credit Score (That Don’t)

by Miranda Marquit · 7 comments

Your credit score is an important piece of your financial puzzle. Using your credit score, lenders and other financial services providers make decisions about you — from whether to lend you money to what sort of interest rate you’ll get. A low credit score might even cause you to pay a higher security deposit to your landlord or a higher premium to your auto insurer.

While there’s a lot included in your credit score, there are some things you probably think have an effect on it that don’t.

Here are five things that aren’t included in your credit score:

1. Location

Where you live doesn’t influence your credit score (even though the geographic breakout makes for interesting reading on various reports). Even if you live in an area that, statistically, tends toward poor credit scores, don’t worry. All that matters is whether you yourself have been responsible with your credit.

2. Employment Information

In some cases, it’s true that information about an employer might be included on your credit report. In fact, a job I had a decade ago is still listed on my credit report — but subsequent jobs aren’t. It all depends on who reports what to each credit bureau.

Even though that information might appear on your credit report, the information isn’t used in calculating your score. Information about your current employment status isn’t used in the algorithm either. So, if you’re unemployed, it won’t change your credit score (unless that situation causes you to start missing payments).

3. Income

Though lenders might ask you for income information as part of your loan application, it doesn’t factor into your credit score. Lenders and credit bureaus may also estimate your income, using information about the size of your mortgage or other clues found in your credit report.

4. Age

Age doesn’t matter when it comes to your credit score, though the length of your credit history will be considered. It follows that the older you are, the longer your credit history is likely to be — but that doesn’t mean your age is an official part of the score.

5. Marital Status

Your credit score is kept separate from your spouse’s credit score. Unless you apply for a joint line of credit, your credit score is looked at individually. On the other hand, adding an “authorized” user on a credit card or co-signing on a loan can impact your credit.

Did any of these surprise you? 

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  • Lawrence Scism says:

    My question is this..will shopping around for car insurance impact the credit score as a hard inquires or is it considered a soft inquires and the score is not affected ?

  • L Rob says:

    Employment record is very important. My friend had tried to build up her credit score but apparently if you’re a job hopper and can’t hold a job for a long time, that would really affect your credit score.

    • Ray Devore says:

      As long as you continue paying your bills on time and do not create new credit, changing jobs will not affect your credit score. Creditors are more interested in your payment habits than in your job.

  • property marbella says:

    Credit rating and credit score also has with good bank contacts you have and how you care for your old credit.

  • Levi Blackman says:

    I don’t really worry about my credit score. I don’t like debt so I don’t use it that much, and a good financial lifestyle will take care of your credit score on it’s own. I just make sure everything on my report is accurate twice a year and let the rest take care of itself.

  • KM says:

    I am surprised by your last sentence. Why would cosigners and authorized users have an impact? Their actions (like not paying on time or maxing out a credit card) will affect you as the one responsible for the credit, but I don’t see how simply having them on the account would.

    • Ray Devore says:

      Adding authorized users means that there are others using your credit, which could limit your spending ability and your need to pay for the expenses of others. Being a co-signer on someone else’s loan has the same affect as if you took out the loan yourself. If the other person doesn’t pay, you are liable for that loan.

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