Having a long, healthy credit history is another key factor in having a high credit score. People with scores of 800 will, typically, have credit accounts that have been open a minimum of 11 years. Compare this with people who have 650 credit scores who have an average of 7 years worth of credit history.
But simply having open accounts for a long time isn’t enough – you need to make sure the history in your credit report is accurate and shows the following:
- Consistent, on-time payment
- No judgements or collections
- A good mix of revolving and installment loans
- A debt-to-income ratio of 36% or lower
Now if you happen to have some blemishes on your report – don’t panic. Over time they become less important, but it is a good idea to get your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies – you’re entitled to one from each bureau for free each year. You want to pull from each one because they may show different things.
If you have items that need to be corrected follow the steps outlined by the Federal Trade Commission – they give a clear plan on how to contact the credit reporting agencies and what to do next.