How Does Credit Work?

Developing a strong credit record is essential for people who want to establish their financial stability.

How Does Credit Work
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However, the mistake many people make is not clearly understanding how credit works, which is one of the main reasons why many of them fail to improve it.

So, if you notice that your credit score is low or is not improving, keep reading below to find out how credit works and better understand what your next steps should be!

How Does Credit Work?

Credit is an arrangement you enter into with a lending institution to acquire services or products that you will pay for afterward on a contractual obligation.

For instance, if you receive a loan, the lending institution will offer you the funds, and you’ll be required to pay it back over time, with interest and potentially other service charges.

Credit could also point to your credit record; something lending institutions consider when deciding whether to support you with a loan, credit card, or similar service.

A strong credit record is crucial for boosting your odds of being qualified for credit at a favorable rate.

What’s The Definition Of A Credit Report?

A credit report is like a record of your credit transactions. There are three credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

A credit report details every single one of the accounts you have created and closed recently, as well as how you handled them.

For instance, when you have a missed payment or an account that has been sent to archives, it will appear on your credit history.

Further data on your credit report include insolvencies, foreclosed properties, as well as other details that may raise red flags for lending institutions.

Simultaneously, punctual payments and long-term committed credit usage will be mirrored in the report.

Finally, a credit report includes other basic details such as your full name and nicknames and misspelled words identified by creditors, your date and place of birth, your identification number, past and present address, and the latest requests for information by creditors to see the report.

What Is the Process Of Credit Reporting?

Nationwide credit reporting firms gather data from lending institutions that disclose it.

For instance, if you own a bank card, your card’s issuing bank will most definitely share your bank transactions with these firms on a monthly basis.

The bureaus then collect and organize the details into lines of credit, which are personal credit records.

Based on the kind of credit, you could get information such as your latest payments, monthly payments, account balance, initial loan sum, and so on.

It should be reminded that banking establishments are not mandated by law to disclose your transactions to credit bureaus.

Therefore, not every single one of your credit activities contributes to the improvement of your credit score.

On the other hand, most banking institutions, credit unions, and other lending institutions disclose your information to these bureaus regularly.

How Can I Obtain My Credit Report?

Every year, people in the United States have the constitutional right to receive one free copy of their credit reports from all the credit bureaus.

You can get your free copy by visiting

In case you require regular access, you can usually obtain one through a free or charged provider. Experian, for instance, provides free credit report access that is refreshed every month, making it possible for you to monitor changes over this time.

What’s The Definition Of Credit Score?

A credit score is a number that represents the details on your credit report. It gives people an overview of your current credit situation, based on all your past and present activity.

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Although there are various distinct kinds of credit scores, the FICO® Score, which ranges from 300 to 850, is the one that is commonly known as the scoring prototype.

Generally, though, the greater your credit score appears to be, the better your credit history is.

How Is Credit Score Determined?

The FICO® Score is determined by the following factors:

  • Payment track record (35% of total): This aspect demonstrates your punctuality in paying your bills while avoiding delinquent and collection account balances.

The greater your payment record, the greater your credit score.

  • Money owed (30%): This component represents both the combined sum you owe and your credit utilization percentage.

The shorter your credit card balance is in relation to its limit, the higher your credit score will be.

  • Credit record duration (15%): This factor considers the months or years you have been using credit overall and the average time your accounts have been open and active. 

Therefore, minimizing unnecessary borrowings as well as using credit responsibly are both beneficial.

Generally, your credit mix is not going to impact your score that much, except for cases where there’s not much more data available to use for the calculation.

  • New credit (10%): Whenever you submit an application for credit and a lender tries to run a solid investigation on your credit history; you may lose some points.

So, when you apply for numerous credit accounts in a brief period of time, lending companies may take notice and not in a good way.

Based on the credit score, those are the aspects you must look into to see what is required in order to keep improving your credit record.

The VantageScore® is also a credit score that you may encounter although it is not as well-known as the FICO® Score.

Some of those same variables are included in this scoring method but are weighted differently. This does, nevertheless, mean that your FICO® Score and VantageScore are likely to be similar.


Credit is a very easy concept to understand; once you do so, you can easily improve yours. So, now that you’ve read this article you can start working on your credit score and see that number go up!

Andre Flowers
Andre Flowers

Hello, my name is Andre Flowers and I have been a Licensed Real Estate Professional for over 24 years. I also carry several certifications, including: Certified Distressed Property Expert, Certified Global Business Professional, Certified Credit Repair Specialist.

As a current Mortgage Underwriter with 15 years of experience, I have seen my fair share of money-related issues. Whether that be high levels of debt, not enough credit, or simply a lack of funds - I’ve had clients who fit into these categories.

Here I will share tips, tricks, and experiences on how you can get yourself back in control of your finances.

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