Mortgage Consultants Group

How does the FICO score work?

When you apply for a mortgage, the prediction of your credit performance is measured by a numerical score. Although there are slight differences among the systems used by major credit reporting agencies, the FICO model is the most popular. The FICO scoring system was developed by Fair Isaac and Company, with the goal of filtering out non-relevant factors, such as race or gender. This single rating score sums up your credit history, projecting the likelihood of meeting future payments and indicating your level of credit risk.
 

Higher scores indicate a better credit risk . These scores not only may qualify you for a mortgage, but possibly better mortgage rates also. As with the other major scoring models (BEACON and EMPIRICA), FICO takes into account the statistics available in your credit report. Each item of data is assigned a weighted value, resulting in a single score that ranges from 300 (low likelihood of repayment) to 850 (high probability of repayment). A typical rating for a home buyer might fall within the range of 600 to 800. These credit scores particularly evaluate:

  • Payment History – Have your payments been timely?
  • Credit Card Balances – What balances do you still owe?
  • Credit History – What credit have you maintained and for how long?
  • Credit Types – What type of credit have you obtained?

    
Credit Inquiries - How often have you had your credit checked?

As most of these factors cover a timeline of credit history, there is not much you can do to change your score at the time of applying for a mortgage. However, you can begin to monitor your credit rating, know what your score is and ensure that the history is correctly recorded . For information and tools to help you, Fair Isaac has created a web site (www.myFICO.com) that lets you access your FICO score from all of the three major reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), along with your credit report. The FICO site and each of these reporting agencies' sites (http://wwwequifax.com, http://wwwexperian.com, and http://www.transunion.com) offer services to help you determine the best way to impact your FICO score.

When you have access to pertinent information, you will be in a better position to obtain the optimum mortgage available to you.

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