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WHAT’S A FICO®?

What is a FICO® Score?

FICO® stands for Fair Isaac & Company and is the name for the most well known credit scoring system, used by Experian. The credit bureau’s computer evaluates a complete credit profile and assigns a score, which is used to estimate credit worthiness. Each of the three bureaus (Experian, Trans Union, Equifax) employs its own scoring system, so a given person will usually have 3 separate scores. Someone with a higher score will be viewed as a better risk than someone with a lower score. Typically, scores will range from about 600 to 700 or above, although some cases will be outside this range.

What Kind of Score Do I Need for a Home Loan?

There are as many answers to this question as there are loan programs available. Most lenders will take the average of all 3 scores to evaluate an application. Niche loans, such as Easy Qualifier and low down payment loans will have higher FICO® requirements.

How is My Score Determined?

The FICO® model has 5 main elements:

  1. Past payment history (about 35% of score) The fewer the late payments the better. Recent late payments will have a much greater impact than a very old Bankruptcy with perfect credit since.
    Myth - paying off cards with recent late payments will fix things. Payoffs do not affect payment history.
  2. Credit use (about 30% of score) Low balances across several cards is better than the same balance concentrated on a few cards used closer to maximums. Too many cards can bring down the score, but closing accounts can often do more harm than good if the entire profile is not considered. BE CAREFUL WHEN CLOSING ACCOUNTS!
  3. Length of credit history (15% of score) The longer accounts have been open the better for the score. Opening new accounts and closing seasoned accounts can bring down a score a great deal.
  4. Types of credit used (10% of score) Finance company accounts score lower than bank or department store accounts.
  5. Inquiries (10% of score) Multiple inquiries can be a risk if several cards are applied for or other accounts are close to maxed out. Multiple mortgage or car inquiries within a 14 day period are counted as one inquiry.

How Can I Raise My Score

Your score can only be changed by the way that item is reported directly to the credit bureaus (Experian, TU, Equifax). Written confirmation from the creditor is required. It is best to make these corrections before you try to purchase a home, because you can never be sure the exact impact a change will have on your score.

What Does This Mean to Me?

You should have your credit reviewed BEFORE you look for a home, and work with a PROFESSIONAL loan officer to make sure your loan is based on the most accurate information.

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Pine Point Realty
1226 Lincoln Street
Rhinelander, WI 54501
Phone: 715-365-6000
 

Testimonials

Carol was excellent to work with,. She was patient, caring, and hard-working. Thanks Carol Olu O.
"When Our bank turned us down for our home loan, we felt that all hope was lost, but Carol Shattuck and Kathy Dolch came through with another lender that was able to get us into our first home." Terry H.
I had met with Kathy a month earlier to discuss my situation and possible sale of my home. Once I knew for sure that I was going to list, I was comfortable with Kathy's input, so I signed up with Pine Point. Julie H.
Kathy and her team go above and beyond to make sure your experience is amazing. Kathy was amazing and made sure we knew what we were looking at, and we should know, we have been working with her for 2 years to find the perfect home. M. Wilmot
As a first-time home owner, Kathy was excellent to work with! The home I purchased was a foreclosure and there were lots of hoops to jump through, but Kathy was very patient and optimistic. Deb H.
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