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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

"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.
Ashlei Highfill was so patient and kind. She always answered every question we had right away. She really showed us some great properties and ultimately found us our perfect starter home. Would highly recommend Ashlei Highfill to anyone looking to purchase a home. Definitely will not be disappointed! Laina Miller , Rhinelander
We moved from out of state and were unable to look at homes in person and Ashlei went out of her way to look at homes for us, she took many pictures and was extremely honest with us, which was what I valued most. She was very punctual at getting back to me, and made my first home purchase an enjoyable one. Kempkens - Rhinelander
I trust Pine Point. Sharon worked well with us and kept us informed. Virginia Taft
My experience with Ashlei was beyond excellent. Her excellence in keeping me informed at all times was very important to me and she went above and beyond my expectations. She is most professional and advised me of her opinions when asked. I would definitely recommend Ashlei to friends, family, or associates who are in the market for a real estate professional. David Dohe
We want to thank and express our appreciation to Ashlei and Team Dolch for all the help and support through the process of buying our home. We've made new friends at Pine Point Realty!! C. McDonald
Ashlei was the greatest!! I could not have asked for a better, more genuine person to help us with our purchase. You have a wonderful agent on your hands! Al & Kathy Reinke
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