When you apply for a mortgage loan, you expect your lender to pull a credit report and look at whether you’ve made your payments on time. What you may not expect is that they seem to be more interested in your FICO® score.
“What’s a FICO® score?” is a common reaction.
Each time your credit report is pulled, it is run through a computer program with a built-in scorecard. Points are awarded or deducted based on certain items such as how long you have had credit cards, whether you make your payments on time, if your credit balances are near maximum, and assorted other variables. When the credit report prints in your lender’s office, the total score is displayed. Your score can be anywhere between the high 300’s and the low 850’s.
Lenders wanted to determine if there was any relationship between these credit scores and whether borrowers made their payments on time, so they did a study. The study showed that borrowers with scores above 680 almost always made their payments on time. Borrowers with scores below 600 seemed fairly certain to develop problems.
As a result, credit scoring became a more important factor in approving mortgage loans. Credit scores also made it easier to develop artificial intelligence computer programs that could make a “yes” decision for loans that should obviously be approved. Nowadays, a computer and not a person may have actually approved your mortgage.
In short, lower credit scores require a more thorough review than higher scores. Often, mortgage lenders will not even consider a score below 600.
Some of the things that affect your FICO score are:
Too many accounts opened within the last twelve months
Short credit history
Balances on revolving credit are near the maximum limits
Public records, such as tax liens, judgments, or bankruptcies
No recent credit card balances
Too many recent credit inquiries
Too few revolving accounts
Too many revolving accounts
FICO® actually stands for Fair Isaac and Company, which is the company used by the Experian (formerly TRW) credit bureau to calculate credit scores. Trans-Union and Equifax are two other credit bureaus who also provide credit scores.
I am writing this letter of recommendation,because I called Havasu Realty about a home I had driven by in Lake Havasu City and wanted to see the inside. Suzan James just happened to be on the phone desk that day. She said she could show me the home that afternoon. That was my introduction to Suzan, who showed me a dozen or more homes over the next few weeks.
I explained that I was looking for a fixer-upper because I could probably get more house for my money. She walked me through some homes I'm sure she would rather not have gone through, but with a sense of humor made me feel comfortable looking for my dirty fixer-upper.
I have to say that by the time I found my home I felt very secure talking to Suzan about older homes. She explained how she worked with her husband, who is a contractor, so she could point out things to watch out for in buying an older home.
Finding Suzan on the other end of the phone that day was a blessing, she's a real trooper, a ray of sunshine.
I feel as if I've found a new friend here in Havasu. Thank you Suzan.