FICO - Your Credit Score
Since we live in an computer-driven society, it's not surprising that your ability to repay your mortgage boils down to a single number.
All the years you've been paying your various bills: your mortgage, vehicle payments, and credit card bills can be analyzed, sliced, diced, spindled and mutilated into a single indicator of whether you're likely to meet your future obligations.
Each of the three credit reporting agencies has its own formula for building your credit score. Fair Isaac and Cooriginally developed this score. .
While Experian still calls its score "FICO", TransUnion calls its score "Beacon" and Equifax uses "Empirica." While the formulas vary, the differences aren't huge; each agency uses the following to calculate a credit score:
- Credit History - How long have you had credit?
- History of Payments - Do you have a history of late payments?
- Credit Card Balances - How many accounts? How much do you owe?
- Requests for Credit - How many times have you had your credit checked for a loan?
These factors are weighted a little bit differently depending on which formula the agency uses. The result is a single number: your FICO score. FICO scores range from 300 to 800. Higher scores are better. Most home buyers in the current environment have a score above 620.
Your score greatly affects your monthly payment
Did you know? FICO scores are used for more than just determining whether or not you qualify for a mortgage. Higher scores indicate you are a better credit risk, and thus may qualify for a better mortgage rate.
Raising your FICO score
Is there any way to improve your credit score? Despite what you hear from "credit repair" companies, the score is based on your lifetime credit history, so it's not possible to raise it significantly in the short term. (Of course you can and should appeal incorrect items on your credit report.)
How do I find out my credit score?
To improve your FICO score, you've got to have the reports that the agencies use to build it, and of course, you need the score itself. Fair Isaac, the corporation that offered the original FICO credit score, offers scores on its website: myFICO.com. It's inexpensive to get your FICO from all three agencies, along with your credit report. Also available are information and tools that can help you improve your FICO score.
You can get a free credit report once per year from the three major agencies when you visit 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.
Now that you have all the facts, you will be a more informed consumer and you'll be better positioned to get the right mortgage for you.
Curious about your FICO score? Give us a call: 3149139678.