About the FICO Credit Score
In the market for a new mortgage? We will be glad to help! Give us a call at (760) 415-7982. Ready to get started? Apply Online Now.
Because our world is so computer-driven, you're probably not surprised to hear that your creditworthiness boils down to one number.
The FICO score is created by credit reporting agencies. These agencies use the payment history from all of your loans: credit cards, mortgages, car/boat loans and others.
All three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) use a slightly different system to arrive at a score. The original FICO score was developed by Fair Isaac and Company.
While Experian still calls its score "FICO", TransUnion calls its score "Beacon" and Equifax uses "Empirica." While each of the models considers a range of data available in your credit report, the differences aren't huge; each agency uses the following in building your score:
- Credit History - How long have you had credit?
- Payment History - Do you pay your bills on time?
- Credit Card Balances - How many accounts? How much do you owe?
- Inquiries on Your Credit - How many times have you had your credit checked for a loan?
These factors are assigned weights based on the formula being used. The result is a single number: your credit score. Credit scores range from 300 to 800. Higher scores are better. Most home buyers probably find their credit scores falling between 620 and 800.
Your credit score greatly affects how much you pay in interest every month
FICO scores are used for more than just determining whether or not you qualify for a mortgage. Lenders give lower interest rates to individuals with higher scores.
Raising your FICO score
Is it possible to improve your FICO score? Since the score is entirely based on a lifetime of credit history, it's difficult to make a significant change in the number with quick fixes. (Of course you can and should have incorrect items removed from your credit report.)
How do I find out my FICO score?
Before you can improve your credit score, you have to obtain your score and make certain that the reports from each credit reporting agency are correct. Fair Isaac, the corporation that invented the first FICO credit score, sells FICO 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 helpful information and tools that help you improve your FICO score.
You can get a federally-mandated free credit report once per year from the three major credit reporting 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'll be a more informed consumer and you'll be better positioned to obtain the right mortgage for you.
Want to know more about your FICO score? Call us: (760) 415-7982.
Get a New Loan Quote
Looking for a new home loan? Fill out the following form to get a fast quote from us.