Does length of credit history or percent of credit used count for more?

When I was back in college my mom added me as an authorized user to her credit cards. I have now graduated and been paying my own student loans (on time) for the past year. In checking my credit scores, I realized that she is using a large portion of her available balance on these credit cards, but has not made a late payment.

My credit scores are in the low 700’s but I am looking to get a car loan in the near future. I was wondering if it would be better to be removed as an authorized user (which would lower my debt-to-income ratio as well as the percentage of my credit I am using) or leave them on there (in favor of a longer credit history–if these two cards were removed my credit history would only be for the past year for my own student loans). I am not sure if losing my credit history would be worse than having a large balance on these cards (since they are paid on time).

Thanks!

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2 Responses to “Does length of credit history or percent of credit used count for more?”

  1. Utilization counts for twice the factor as history.
    My Your Credit Score has a chart showing the components of the credit score. By the way, debt to income is actually not part of the FICO score. Some lenders, especially for mortgages will calculate this, but FICO score is agnostic to your income. Bill Gates would trash his score by canceling all his cards, and opening one new one but using it right to the limit.

    Credit Score

  2. Credit Utilization is the more important factor.

    I would suggest you “leap-frog” some credit. Secure a new line and then remove your name from the old one. That will keep your utilization correct.

    Furthermore, try the CreditKarma.com site and play with the tool they have there to speculate what will happen to your score. You will not see a FICO score, but you will see a representation that is enough to gauge where you sit.