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FICO® Score - a Brief Explanation

When you apply for a mortgage loan, you expect your lender to pull a credit report and look at whether you’ve made your payments on time. What you may not expect is that they seem to be more interested in your FICO® score.

“What’s a FICO® score?” is a common reaction.

Each time your credit report is pulled, it is run through a computer program with a built-in scorecard. Points are awarded or deducted based on certain items such as how long you have had credit cards, whether you make your payments on time, if your credit balances are near maximum, and assorted other variables. When the credit report prints in your lender’s office, the total score is displayed. Your score can be anywhere between the high 300’s and the low 850’s.

Lenders wanted to determine if there was any relationship between these credit scores and whether borrowers made their payments on time, so they did a study. The study showed that borrowers with scores above 680 almost always made their payments on time. Borrowers with scores below 600 seemed fairly certain to develop problems.

As a result, credit scoring became a more important factor in approving mortgage loans. Credit scores also made it easier to develop artificial intelligence computer programs that could make a “yes” decision for loans that should obviously be approved. Nowadays, a computer and not a person may have actually approved your mortgage.

In short, lower credit scores require a more thorough review than higher scores. Often, mortgage lenders will not even consider a score below 600.

Some of the things that affect your FICO score are:

  • Delinquencies
  • Too many accounts opened within the last twelve months
  • Short credit history
  • Balances on revolving credit are near the maximum limits
  • Public records, such as tax liens, judgments, or bankruptcies
  • No recent credit card balances
  • Too many recent credit inquiries
  • Too few revolving accounts
  • Too many revolving accounts

FICO® actually stands for Fair Isaac and Company, which is the company used by the Experian (formerly TRW) credit bureau to calculate credit scores. Trans-Union and Equifax are two other credit bureaus who also provide credit scores.

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Greg Drake
Lakewood, CO 80228
Phone: (303) 884-0990
Email: greg@realtyprosco.com
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When we sold our home last summer, we were referred to Greg Drake at Realty Professionals. Greg and his staff were so knowledgeable, professional and unbelievably helpful! The stager, that Greg hired, came into our home and made several recommendations and changes to allow our home show beautifully! Our home went on the market and we had 16 showings in the first day alone! At the close of business that very day, we had 11 offers that were either at or above asking price! My husband and I could not have been happier! However, there were several things that came up during the inspection but we did not have to stress about researching companies and getting bids and meeting deadlines. Greg did it all! He had an entire team of trusted, reasonably priced contractors who were able to take care of all our problems that same week! We could not have been more please with the honesty, professionalism and hard work that Realty Professionals provided for us! I cannot imagine having to sell another house without them! I would HIGHLY recommend them to anyone looking to sell or buy! Michelle S.
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