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Credit Determinants - The Good, the Bad, and your Payment History

Your credit score. This all-important financial determinant is a bit of a mysterious thing. What is it exactly and how does it affect your ability to say, purchase get an auto-loan? Fret not! We'll confront these questions head-on. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you'll feel more knowledgeable regarding your credit score and what factors affect it.

The General Rundown

Your credit score is a number that indicates how well you're able to manage your credit. Three consumer credit reporting bureaus handle all credit score calculations: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. All scores range from between 300 and 850, the higher the score the better. Essentially, this number is a condensed indicator of many factors that provides an indication of credit responsibility (how likely it is that you'll repay your loans on time). Your credit score breaks down into percentages based on categories: payment history (35%), outstanding debt (30%), length of credit history (14%), types of credit used (10%), and account age (10%).

Credit Score Factors

Payment history, history of credit use, number of accounts, and hard inquiries are just a few factors that can affect a driver's credit score.

  • Number of accounts: This consideration looks at the number of credit card accounts you have and utilizes the balances in the accounts as a credit score factor.
  • Payment history: This is an important determinant. Whether you pay your bills on time and when/if you miss a payment are all factors that affect your credit score. 
  • Hard inquiries: This is when a lender or creditor requests a credit check (different from a soft credit check) as part of a loan or credit-related decision (i.e. auto loan, credit card).
  • Credit utilization rate: This factor considers how much credit you use versus how much you have available. If you have a low credit utilization ratio (dividing the total amount of revolving credit you have available), it bodes well for your credit score
  • Credit mix: It's not all about credit cards. This factor considers the variety of credit you're utilizing. From credit cards to the variety of loans (auto, student, mortgage, etc...)

Negative Credit Score Factors

Collections, missed payments, bankruptcy, foreclosure, charge-off, and settle accounts are all factors that can negatively impact your credit score. Other negative impacts include some of the following:

  • Repossession
  • Settled accounts
  • Voluntary surrender
  • Foreclosure
  • bankruptcy
  • Missed payments
  • Charge-offs

How your Credit Score Affects your Auto Loan

The higher the credit score, the lower the auto loan interest rate is what it comes down to. With a higher credit score, drivers are more trusted by the lender and are provided a lower interest rate due to that repayment confidence. Of course, if you have a low credit score, you may have a higher rate interest rate on your auto loan.

Visit Gallatin Subaru to Learn about your Finance Options!

Our team of in-house finance experts is ready to assist drivers with finding the auto loan, finance package, and leasing deal that meets their needs! Drivers can start by utilizing our online finance center to fill out an online finance application. Once drivers submit a completed online finance application, drivers just have to wait for one of our finance experts to reach out with the next steps. 

Or, if you prefer to work things out with our finance team in person, that's fine too! There's no rush! Stop by our dealership located in Bozeman, MT today to learn about your finance options! While you're here, drivers can test drive their prospective vehicle!

Gallatin Subaru

31910 Frontage Rd
Directions Bozeman, MT 59715

  • Sales: 406-530-1548
  • Service: (888) 714-3738
  • Parts: (888) 566-1227


  • Monday 08:30am - 06:00pm
  • Tuesday 08:30am - 06:00pm
  • Wednesday 08:30am - 06:00pm
  • Thursday 08:30am - 06:00pm
  • Friday 08:30am - 06:00pm
  • Saturday 09:00am - 05:00pm
  • Sunday Closed
  1. Gallatin Subaru

    31910 Frontage Rd
    Bozeman, MT 59715

    • Sales: 406-530-1548
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