Your Credit Score: What it means

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Before lenders decide to give you a loan, they have to know that you are willing and able to pay back that mortgage. To understand whether you can pay back the loan, they look at your income and debt ratio. To assess your willingness to pay back the mortgage loan, they consult your credit score.

The most widely used credit scores are FICO scores, which were developed by Fair Isaac & Company, Inc. The FICO score ranges from 350 (very high risk) to 850 (low risk). For details on FICO, read more here.

Your credit score comes from your repayment history. They don't consider income or personal characteristics. Fair Isaac invented FICO specifically to exclude demographic factors. "Profiling" was as dirty a word when FICO scores were invented as it is now. Credit scoring was envisioned as a way to consider solely what was relevant to a borrower's likelihood to repay the lender.

Your current debt level, past late payments, length of your credit history, and other factors are considered. Your score is calculated from the good and the bad in your credit report. Late payments lower your credit score, but establishing or reestablishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your score.

For the agencies to calculate a credit score, you must have an active credit account with at least six months of payment history. This payment history ensures that there is sufficient information in your credit to build an accurate score. Should you not meet the minimum criteria for getting a credit score, you may need to work on your credit history before you apply for a mortgage.

At American Mortgage Alliance, we answer questions about Credit reports every day. Give us a call at 303-840-7424.