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Understanding Credit - How to Navigate Life’s Shocks 


Produced by American Express, VantageScore Solutions and TransUnion

Credit specialist Yanely Espinal helps artist Jessica Ortiz navigate through the shocks she has taken to her credit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During these moments of uncertainty, we need all the runway we can get. That’s where credit comes in. Credit can be a tool to help you navigate to a better place, or it can hold you back. So, how do you manage your credit in a safe, smart way?


The key to navigating credit is understanding the fundamentals of what goes into your credit score.


  • What Goes Into Your Score: There is not one “score.” Lenders use many different credit-scoring models to make credit decisions. One of them is the VantageScore® model. There are six factors that go into your VantageScore Credit Score. As you’ll see below, each factor has a different degree of impact.
Infographic of the six factors that make up a credit score
  • Know What Makes an Impact: Once you have an understanding of how credit scores work, you can focus on the factors with the largest influence. The most important is payment history. Do you pay your bills on time? If you don’t, your credit score will take a big hit. The second and third crucial factors are age and type of credit (types of loans, for example, and how long you’ve had them) along with percent of credit limit used, also called credit utilization. In other words, how much of your available credit are you using?
  • You can find your credit utilization rate with this calculation:
Credit utilization equation infographic

To maintain a healthy credit score, you should aim to be at no more than 30% utilization. Remember that a good credit score can empower you to borrow money at much favorable interest rates, increase your line of credit, and more.


And remember, knowing what goes into your credit score is not the same as being able to read your credit report and understand what it means. 

NO INVESTMENT ADVICE. The content of this webcast is for informational purposes only. You should not construe any information or other material contained herein as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other type of advice or as a recommendation to take any specific action by any entity or person. All Content is information of a general nature and does not address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity.


All investments or investment strategies involve the risk of loss. You should not use this webcast to make financial decisions. You should seek professional advice from someone who is authorized to provide investment or other financial advice.