Credit Karma HelpCredit Karma HelpIntuit

Which key factors impact my credit scores?

SOLVEDBy Credit KarmaUpdated July 19, 2023

We're happy you came to Intuit Credit Karma to learn more about how to make progress on your credit scores. Our goal is to give you the tools, the education and the opportunities you need to make real, meaningful progress. Keep reading for insights on some of the key factors that can impact your credit scores.

The information you see on Credit Karma is based on your most recent credit reports, so if you’ve recently made a change, like paying off a credit card balance, it may not be reflected yet. See more information on these updates here: Why hasn’t my score changed? 

Payment History

Payment history looks at how consistently you’ve made payments. Since credit scores are meant to provide lenders a better idea of how likely a consumer is to pay back a debt, even one missed payment can heavily impact your scores.

See details on your payment history for both TransUnion and Equifax.

Credit Card Utilization

Credit card utilization, also known as CCU or credit usage, is how much of your available credit you’re currently using. Lower credit card utilization rates suggest to creditors that you can use credit responsibly without relying too heavily on it, so a low credit utilization rate (under 30%) may be correlated with higher credit scores.

See details on your credit card utilization for both TransUnion and Equifax.

Derogatory marks

Derogatory marks, sometimes referred to as public records, are negative, long-lasting indications on your credit reports that generally mean you didn’t pay back a loan as agreed. Late payments, bankruptcies and collections accounts are some examples of derogatory marks and can have long-term impact on your credit. They typically last seven to ten years on a credit report depending on the type of event.

See details on your derogatory marks for both TransUnion and Equifax.

Credit Age

Credit age, also known as length of credit history, refers to the length of time you’ve been using credit. See more on this credit factor here: How does age of credit history affect credit scores?

See details on your credit age for both TransUnion and Equifax.

Total accounts

Total accounts, also known as credit mix and types, isn’t the most heavily weighted factor, but lenders typically like to see that you've used a variety of accounts responsibly.

See details on your total accounts for both TransUnion and Equifax.

Hard inquiries

Hard inquiries, also known as credit inquiries or recent credit, is a measure of your applications to open new lines of credit. There are generally two types of inquiries, hard inquiries and soft inquiries. Hard inquiries generally occur when a financial institution checks your credit when making a lending decision. A hard inquiry tends to cause a drop to your credit score and is removed from your credit report after around two years, though their effects tend to fade over time.

A soft inquiry (like what happens when you check your credit scores on Credit Karma) usually happens when a person or company checks your credit as part of a background check, for example. There is no impact to your credit from a soft credit inquiry, which is why we don’t show your soft credit inquiries on Credit Karma.

See details on your hard inquiries for both TransUnion and Equifax.

Credit Karma