Age of Accounts threshold

Age of Accounts threshold
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History - I moved to SE Asia in 2009, never thought I would be here this long. During this time all of credit aged off my reports.

Two years ago I began to re-establish. I currently have two Wells Fargo Credit Cards, a Platinum Card (2 years) and a Cash Wise, which I have had for 1 year. My Trans Union FICO is 763 and my Experian 748, and I am unsure about Equifax, but I’m assuming it’s in the same range. NerdWallet shows that 21% of my score is based on “Age of Accounts”.

My question for any Nerd Wallet expert - Does anyone know where the threshold/s is or are for getting a FICO bump on the age of accounts? Additionally, would adding a 3rd card, which would lower my average account age, have much of an impact on FICO, other than a 10-12 point short term hit over the next several months.



Hi Will.

Welcome to the NerdWallet community. I wouldn’t worry too much about the average age of accounts. It may be that you’ll get more help from credit utilization (you’ll be using a smaller percentage of your available credit if you get an additional card and keep charges the same). Credit utilization is a much bigger factor than average age of accounts. You could also consider asking a close friend or relative to add you as an authorized user to an old card with a sterling payment record (they need not even give you a card or the number if all you want is the potential boost to your credit.)

Another strategy you might try is a credit-builder loan (the smallest you can get). That helps with credit mix, because it adds an installment loan to your credit history. And credit-builder loans often do not require a hard inquiry to your credit. You can check before applying.

Please let us know if we can help further.


Hi Bev,

I keep my utilization under 9% by making two payments if necessary, so I am good on that point.

I would not be comfortable asking anyone to add me as an authorized user, regardless of the situation.

I could do the credit builder loan, however I will be applying for a new construction loan in Oct./Nov 2019. So if I were to do a 9-month term credit builder loan, would that be wise assuming it will complete just a month or two before I apply for my mortgage?

Your thoughts please.


I think I would avoid paying a credit-builder loan off just before applying for a mortgage. Paying off a loan can sometimes result in a small drop in your score (which won’t matter so much once you have a mortgage). The other thing you want to do about 6 months before you apply for a mortgage is check all three of your credit reports to be sure the information is accurate.

As far as utilization goes, yours sounds fine. I do find that for me, lower is better, even if it’s low to begin with (my score rose a few points — single digits — when utilization dropped from 6% to 2% once). But FICO utilization just needs to be super-low when score is pulled. A higher-utilization month in your past won’t hurt your score the way a late payment in your past can.

It sounds like you are doing all the right things to prepare.


Thanks Bev,

I’ll make sure my UR is at 2-3% this month and we’ll see what happens. My score has been a steady 763, except for the month when I let the UR go to 21%, for about that past 6 months.

I honestly think at this point the only factors that will increase it will be adding a mortgage or car note and time, which I can live with.


I hope you’ll keep us posted on what happens.


I sure will. My bill date is on the 7th. My Wells Fargo FICO posts shortly after, but it seems it runs a month in arrears, while NerdWallet is more real time.


Bev, last month my UR was 4% and I just got a 1 point FICO bump. LOL 1 point.


Do you know when your FICO was calculated?


According to NerdWallet and Trans Union the increase happened on the Jan. 3 update. What are you thinking?


Credit scores are calculated on demand, with the information in your credit report at that moment. So, in order for it to show up in your score, it does have to be in your record. But fluctuations (even within a day) are normal. Still, when you’re trying to raise your score, waiting can be like watching paint dry!


Well, in this case then I believe it’s just a matter of fluctuations. My UR I have at 3% and today is by bill date. I will curious if it has an effect on my FICO. By the way, watching paint dry isn’t fun.


A lot of people only use the AZEO method when they’re prepping for some big application but I like to use it every month. I like seeing myFico’s at their highest - it just makes me feel better. I pay off all cards to $0 before the statement cuts and allow 1 card to report at 2%. It always manages to keep my scores jacked up even when I add a new account and since my creditors routinely soft pull it allows me the most security as far as knowing my scores are functioning at their highest. For me, it’s second nature. YMMV depending what’s the most important to you.


Bev, it looks like my FICO is calculated on the 8th. With my UR at 4% my Experian score say a 6 point bump to 754. TU on NerdWallet updates in 18 hours. I’ll let you know if i get an increase from my current 764.

Update - No TU increase. I do like seeing the 3 agencies within 10 points of each other though.