A Score that Really Matters: Your Credit Score

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Before deciding on what terms they will offer you a loan (which they base on their risk), lenders want to know two things about you: your ability to repay the loan, and how committed you are to pay back the loan. To figure out your ability to repay, lenders look at 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 FICO scores, which Fair Isaac & Company, a financial analytics agency, developed. Your FICO score ranges from 350 (very high risk) to 850 (low risk). For details on FICO, read more here.

Credit scores only consider the information contained in your credit profile. They don't consider income or personal characteristics. Fair Isaac invented FICO specifically to exclude demographic factors like these. "Profiling" was as dirty a word when these scores were first invented as it is now. Credit scoring was envisioned as a way to take into account only that which was relevant to a borrower's likelihood to repay a loan.

Past delinquencies, payment behavior, debt level, length of credit history, types of credit and number of inquiries are all considered in credit scoring. Your score is calculated from the good and the bad of your credit history. Late payments will lower your credit score, but consistently making future payments on time will raise your score.

For the agencies to calculate a credit score, borrowers must have an active credit account with at least six months of payment history. This history ensures that there is enough information in your credit to generate an accurate score. If you don't meet the minimum criteria for getting a credit score, you might need to establish your credit history prior to applying for a mortgage.

At Affordable Mortgage Financing, LLC., we answer questions about Credit reports every day. Call us at (608) 372-9222.