Aug
16
2013

The meaning of “too few accounts paid as agreed”

Dear Experian,

My credit score came back with a statement saying, “too few accounts paid as agreed.” I was wondering what that means since I have never paid an account or bill late.

- CHW

 

Dear CHW,

“Too few accounts paid as agreed” does not necessarily mean you have late payments or accounts you did not pay according to your contract with the lender.

The risk factor statement is not referring to late payments or other negative information. Instead, it is likely the result of either a short credit history or a “thin” credit history, or both.

Credit scoring systems not only look at whether your accounts are paid on time, but also at the length and depth of your credit history.

The length of a credit history is a matter of time. A short credit history may have accounts that have been open for a matter of months or one or two years. A long credit history may span decades because open, active accounts remain indefinitely.

The depth of a credit report is an issue of the number and types of accounts you have. A credit history with only one or two accounts could be considered thin, even if it spans many years. A “thick” file would have several accounts of different types. For example the credit history could include credit cards, installment loans and a mortgage.

Usually, though, a short credit history and a thin file go hand-in-hand because the person just hasn’t been using credit long enough to have a number of accounts of different types. There simply isn’t enough information yet to demonstrate very strong credit management.

Time is the key. Continue to manage the accounts you have well. In time, you will have opportunities to open new accounts. As the length and depth of your credit history grows over time, your credit score will improve and that risk factor will go away.

Always remember though, that because the risk factors describe the information that is most negatively affecting the credit score, the statements will always sound bad, even when you have a very good credit score.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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