A Score that Really Matters: The Credit Score

Before lenders decide to lend you money, they must know if you are willing and able to pay back that mortgage loan. To figure out your ability to pay back the loan, lenders assess your debt-to-income ratio. To assess how willing you are to repay, they use your credit score.

The most commonly used credit scores are called FICO scores, which were developed by Fair Isaac & Company, Inc. The FICO score ranges from 350 (high risk) to 850 (low risk). You can learn more on FICO here.

Your credit score is a direct result of your history of repayment. They don't consider income or personal characteristics. These scores were invented specifically for this reason. Credit scoring was developed to assess a borrower's willingness to pay without considering other irrelevant factors.

Deliquencies, derogatory payment behavior, current debt level, length of credit history, types of credit and number of inquiries are all considered in credit scores. Your score is calculated wtih positive and negative information in your credit report. Late payments lower your score, but consistently making future payments on time will improve your score.

Your credit report must contain at least one account which has been open for six months or more, and at least one account that has been updated in the past six months for you to get a credit score. This history ensures that there is enough information in your credit to build a score. If you don't meet the minimum criteria for getting a credit score, you may need to establish your credit history prior to applying for a mortgage loan.

U.S.A. Lending, Inc. can answer your questions about credit reporting. Call us at 305-967-7200.