Are you hoping to get approved for a new credit card? Have you double-checked your current credit score? Well, it is probably wise not to get too comfortable with your score alone. Despite what you may think, it is not the primary indicator of your success in being approved. Creditors look for much more than a high credit score when they determine if you are a good credit candidate. The process is actually much more complex than that, and it ultimately depends on several other factors. Many creditors use a set of underwriting criteria in order to determine merit and rule out the people who do not check all of their approval boxes. So what are some things a creditor might secretly freak out about when it comes to your credit?

To start, an important factor is the amount of credit you have available. If you are maxed out on all of your credit cards, this reflects badly on your spending habits, suggesting that you might be more of a risk than an asset for additional credit services. To improve your chances for new credit approval, keep your balances low and manageable. Another reason a creditor might frown upon your history is if you have multiple delinquencies on your record. Payments made after a 30-day period are a red flag to creditors. Even minor late payments can blemish your record, so making timely payments is an essential part of ensuring future credit approval.

Perhaps one of the strongest factors that can help or harm your credit record is the length of your sustained accounts. A longer history of credit means holding a credit account in good standing, preferably for more than several years at a time, suggesting to creditors that you are responsible in maintaining your accounts and are successfully able to manage your finances. Creditors need reason to believe you are creditworthy, so be sure to hold on to your accounts for the long term, ensure that your payments are made on time, and try to keep your limits open and your balances low. Save yourself, and lenders, reason to freak out over your credit.