Credit Score Info #1

Panama 2011


I figured I would share some facts about credit scores and what effects them. Most people I talk to know very little about this topic; they just think signing up for multiple credit cards must be bad. Here is some info from the source of your true score (the one all lenders look at).

What’s in your FICO® score

FICO Scores are calculated from a lot of different credit data in your credit report. This data can be grouped into five categories as outlined below. The percentages in the chart reflect how important each of the categories is in determining your FICO score.

These percentages are based on the importance of the five categories for the general population. For particular groups – for example, people who have not been using credit long – the importance of these categories may be somewhat different.

Payment History

  • Account payment information on specific types of accounts (credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts, mortgage, etc.)
  • Presence of adverse public records (bankruptcy, judgements, suits, liens, wage attachments, etc.), collection items, and/or delinquency (past due items)
  • Severity of delinquency (how long past due)
  • Amount past due on delinquent accounts or collection items
  • Time since (recency of) past due items (delinquency), adverse public records (if any), or collection items (if any)
  • Number of past due items on file
  • Number of accounts paid as agreed

Amounts Owed

  • Amount owing on accounts
  • Amount owing on specific types of accounts
  • Lack of a specific type of balance, in some cases
  • Number of accounts with balances
  • Proportion of credit lines used (proportion of balances to total credit limits on certain types of revolving accounts)
  • Proportion of installment loan amounts still owing (proportion of balance to original loan amount on certain types of installment loans)

Length of Credit History

  • Time since accounts opened
  • Time since accounts opened, by specific type of account
  • Time since account activity

New Credit

  • Number of recently opened accounts, and proportion of accounts that are recently opened, by type of account
  • Number of recent credit inquiries
  • Time since recent account opening(s), by type of account
  • Time since credit inquiry(s)
  • Re-establishment of positive credit history following past payment problems

Types of Credit Used

  • Number of (presence, prevalence, and recent information on) various types of accounts (credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, mortgage, consumer finance accounts, etc.)

Please note that:

  • A FICO score takes into consideration all these categories of information, not just one or two. No one piece of information or factor alone will determine your score.
  • The importance of any factor depends on the overall information in your credit report. For some people, a given factor may be more important than for someone else with a different credit history. In addition, as the information in your credit report changes, so does the importance of any factor in determining your FICO score. Thus, it’s impossible to say exactly how important any single factor is in determining your score – even the levels of importance shown here are for the general population, and will be different for different credit profiles. What’s important is the mix of information, which varies from person to person, and for any one person over time.
  • Your FICO score only looks at information in your credit report. However, lenders look at many things when making a credit decision including your income, how long you have worked at your present job and the kind of credit you are requesting.
  • Your score considers both positive and negative information in your credit report. Late payments will lower your score, but establishing or re-establishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your FICO credit score.




Business Credit Cards: Do you actually need a business to get one?

Bathsheba, Barbados 2009

A great way to rack up even more points and miles is to open a business credit card. Most people don’t know that you do not have to have a business or EIN number to get one.

Here is a good post by the Noob Traveler that goes into some more detail.

Million Mile Secrets has a couple of informative on the subject here and there.

I will be adding the best business credit card options to my blog soon.

In the mean time, I would recommend the Chase Ink Bold..

Southwest Airline’s Partnerpalooza Promotion



This is a promo and a sweepstakes rolled into one. You can earn additional Southwest Rapid Rewards points by supprting their partners listed. But, the best part I believe is the chance to win up to 1 million miles for a free entry. The top prize does not start out that high, but if enough people register the prizes only get better.

A lot of my family and friends already have a Chase Southwest card beacause it has a great bonus offer that I let them know about (50,000 miles after making just 1 purchase.) But, if you do not have one already you can signup for one now and get 25 more entries into the sweepstakes. Also, for every ten times you use your card during the promo period, you will get an additional entry.

The best part about this is the daily contest you can enter after registering. It looks like they are giving away instant prizes if you can succesfully complete a little “Plinko” game they have. You get one attempt each day to try and drop a little icon into a suitcase, but it first bounces around on the pegs below, like the old game of plinko on The Price Is Right. I have tried everyday, but so far have not won, so I don’t know what the prizes are.

Register to try and win here:

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Partnerpalooza

Got an AMEX?

Taken in Nicaragua the week I was there in 2009.


I did not have an American Express card until last week when I read a post over at Noob Traveler.  It looks like they are stepping up their game with a few higher sign-up bonuses. These higher bonus promotions are for their Premier Rewards Gold (PRG) and Delta Gold cards. I was offered a 75,000 point bonus for the PRG card for spending $1,000 in 3 months. I jumped on this offer. If you are interested, click this link here to see if you get offered one of these valuable promotions.

For more info, check out the Noob Traveler’s post or these others here:

These points can be very valuable and I will explain later how they can be used toward a surf trip to an exotic local.

This is my first blog. This is a test.