4 Min Read | Updated: October 31, 2023

Originally Published: May 11, 2020

FICO® Score Simulator from MyCredit Guide: How It Works

American Express® MyCredit Guide gives you access to the FICO® Score Simulator and FICO® Score Planner to help you build positive credit habits that support a healthy credit score.

Credit score simulator


You can use the FICO® Score Simulator from American Express® MyCredit Guide to help assess the impact of financial choices. (FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.)

Understanding what credit behavior affects your credit score can help you make healthy credit decisions.

Improving your credit score can help you earn better offers and approvals for lines of credit and loans.

Your credit score is an important number that plays a part of your daily life, from where you might live, which car you might drive, and what credit cards you may have in your wallet. That’s why it’s important to know your score. Credit scores are updated every time they are requested, so timely repayments and lower debt can lead to a higher score within a few months.


If you’re serious about improving your credit score—or making sure it doesn’t drop—it can be smart to come up with a strategy and assess “what if” scenarios. That’s where a credit score simulator calculator comes in: this tool helps simulate your credit score based on various financial actions you may take (such as debt repayment or opening new credit) that may affect your score.


With American Express® MyCredit Guide, once you’ve enrolled, you can log in to check your FICO® Score, explore your Experian® credit report, and take advantage of tools like the FICO® Score Planner and FICO® Score Simulator. Plus, it’s all free, even if you’re not an American Express Card Member.

How Does a Credit Score Simulator Work?

A credit score simulator shows how various financial actions can affect your current credit score. Because it’s a simulation, actual results may vary, but you can use it to see:


  • What you can do to increase your credit score
  • How certain financial actions will affect your score

For example, if you are planning on opening a new credit card or applying for a loan, you can use the simulator to understand how your application may affect your current score.


If your current credit score isn’t earning the approvals you need for new lines of credit or loans, the simulator can help you see how various credit actions you take could drive your score higher.


In short, the credit score simulator answers your “what ifs” and provides outcomes for various scenarios.

How Does Your Credit Score Get Calculated?

Your credit score is calculated by assessing various factors in the five predictive categories of your credit history:1


1. Payment history: Highly influential

A strong credit history of on-time payments increases your credit score. When debts are defaulted on or settled, your credit score will likely go down. Late payments of 30 days or more also are seen as negative payments on your credit report. To keep this category in good standing, consider automating your monthly minimum payments to ensure you aren’t affected by any late payments.


2. Amounts owed: Highly influential

Sometimes referred to as your credit utilization ratio, total credit usage looks at your current balances (what you owe) and your current credit limits (how much your credit companies and lenders allow you to borrow). The lower the percent of your available revolving credit being used the better for your scores. Individuals with the highest credit scores tend to keep their credit utilization rates below about 10%.1 To help maintain a healthy credit score, you can pay down debt, limit new expenses, and request increases to your current credit limits.


3. Length of credit history: Important, but Less influential

Looking at the average age of your credit accounts helps lenders understand how long you have been able to manage credit in a healthy way. The longer you keep your accounts in good standing, the higher your credit score will be.


4. Credit mix: Important, but Less influential

A mix of different types of credit can have a positive impact on your credit score. Types of credit considered in reports include installment debts, like student loans, mortgage, or car loans, and revolving accounts, like credit cards and other lines of credit.


5. New credit: Important, but Less influential

When you apply for a new loan or a new line of credit, you are signaling to lenders a greater need for credit, which can be seen as risky when you are applying for multiple new accounts. While a single hard inquiry won’t hurt your credit score too much, a series of applications tell lenders that you may be in a risky point in your credit journey.

How a Credit Score Simulator Can Help

A credit score simulator can’t improve your score, but it can help you explore how different financial decisions can change your score. You may be asking: would it be better for my credit score to trigger a balance transfer, to apply for a credit limit increase, or to apply for a personal loan to help pay off debts?


A credit score simulator can help you see the potential impacts of these different options, allowing you to weigh different scenarios and choose which credit option works best for your circumstances—and your credit score.

A Higher Score Means Better Offers

Here’s why it’s smart to aim high when it comes to your credit score: The higher your score, the more competitive loan offers (including mortgage loans and car loans) will be—and the more access you’ll have to credit card offers and rewards.


An excellent credit score can help you access rewards and benefits that card members with low credit scores can’t be approved for. Used in conjunction with responsible credit card use, these reward and bonus programs can help you access travel opportunities, cash back rewards, and more.

What You Should Expect from a Credit Score Simulator

A credit score simulator is just that—a simulation. The FICO® Score Simulator from MyCredit Guide can help you assess the possible impact of financial choices before you make them, but it cannot predict your exact credit score.


That’s because many factors are at play such as your total credit usage, available lines of credit, payment history, credit history and new accounts. That said, a credit score simulator can be a way to test your financial decisions and can help you come up with a smart strategy to maintain or improve your credit score.

Anna Davies

Anna Davies is a writer and content marketing strategist who specializes in the personal finance space. Bylines have appeared in New York, Refinery29, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and others.


All Credit Intel content is written by freelance authors and commissioned and paid for by American Express. 

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