Santa’s Credit Score Is Probably Better Than Yours

Santa_credit_score

Credit scoring company FICO had a little holiday fun and made a credit profile for jolly old Saint Nick. Based on the credit info FICO plugged into one of its algorithms, Santa has a 757 FICO score, well above the U.S. average of 695, per a news release. And he has what’s considered an excellent FICO score, with a range of 300 to 850.

If you’re looking to improve your score, there are some things you can learn from the fabled toy deliverer. Santa’s extensive credit history — which goes back eons — probably played a big role in his good credit score. Generally, the longer you’ve been using credit, the better.

Santa also has a great mix of accounts, given that he not only has installment loans and revolving credit products, but a variety of both. In fact, he has credit cards, a mortgage, an auto loan (for a hybrid sleigh, of course) and a home equity line of credit (HELOC). The age of your credit history accounts for 15% of your FICO score, while your account mix makes up 10%.

But the man isn’t perfect. There’s an old late payment in his credit history — things got tight in the recession — and since payment history makes up 35% of a FICO score, it could be dragging him down. The good news is, late payments are only reported for seven years and their impact lessens as they age, so Santa’s credit score isn’t hurting too much from that payment.

The bigger issue might be his credit card use, as he maxed out his $50,000-limit credit card to help with toy production for the holidays. FICO didn’t share how much of his total available credit Santa uses, but experts recommend using less than 30% of your available credit, and some say it’s best to use less than 10%. The idea is to keep credit card balances as low as possible, relative to the card’s limits, so maxing out cards is a bad idea.

Old Saint Nick would be smart to track his credit scores to see how changes — like lowering his credit card balances and continuing to make on-time payments — can affect them. You can check your credit by pulling your credit reports for free each year on AnnualCreditReport.com and viewing your two credit scores for free every 30 days on Credit.com.

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