About the FICO Credit Score
Since we live in an computer-driven world, it should come as no surprise that your ability to repay your mortgage comes down to just one number.
All the years you've been paying your various bills: your mortgage, vehicle payments, and credit card bills are analyzed, diced, spindled and mutilated into a single indicator of whether you're likely to meet your future obligations.
All three major credit agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) use a slightly different system to arrive at a credit score. Fair Isaac and Cooriginally developed this score. .
Experian uses this model and calls its score FICO. Equifax's model, based on FICO, is called BEACON, while TransUnion, which also uses a slightly modified FICO, calls its score EMPIRICA. While each of the models considers a range of data available in your credit report, all of the agencies use the following to build a score:
- Your Credit History - How many years have you had credit?
- Late Payments - Do you have any payments later than 30 days?
- Balances on your Credit Cards - How many credit card accounts do you have, and how much do you owe on them?
- Requests for Credit - How many times have lenders pulled your credit for the purpose of giving you a loan?
These factors are assigned weights based on the formula being used. Each formula produces a single number which varies slightly from one agency to another. Credit scores can be as low as 300 and as high as 800. Higher scores are better. Most borrowers getting a mortgage these days have a score above 620.
Your credit score affects your monthly payment
Did you know? FICO scores affect more than your ability to get a loan. They also affect your interest rate. Higher scores indicate you are probably a better credit risk, and thus may qualify for a better mortgage rate.
Raising your credit score
What can you do about your FICO score? Very little in the short term. Some companies promise quick fixes, but they can't do anything different than what you can do — for free. (Of course you must appeal incorrect items on your credit report.)
Know your FICO score
Before you can improve your FICO score, you must get your score and ensure that the credit reports from each reporting agency are correct. Fair Isaac, the corporation that invented the first FICO score, sells scores on myFICO.com. It's inexpensive to quickly get your FICO score from all three agencies, along with your credit report. They also provide helpful information and online tools that help you analyze what actions might have the greatest impact on your FICO score.
You can get a federally-mandated free credit report every year from all three credit reporting agencies at AnnualCreditReport.com. While this report does not include a free credit score, the cost to "upgrade" your report to include a credit score is very reasonable.
Armed with this info, you'll be a more informed consumer and you'll be better positioned to obtain the most favorable mortgage.
Want to know more about credit scores? Give us a call: 7184417000.