Credit Scores

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Before lenders make the decision to lend you money, they have to know if you are willing and able to pay back that mortgage loan. To assess your ability to repay, lenders look at your debt-to-income ratio. To assess your willingness to pay back the mortgage loan, they consult your credit score.

Fair Isaac and Company formulated the first FICO score to assess creditworthiness. For details on FICO, read more here.

Your credit score is a direct result of your repayment history. They never consider income, savings, down payment amount, or demographic factors like gender, ethnicity, nationality or marital status. These scores were invented specifically for this reason. "Profiling" was as dirty a word when these scores were first invented as it is in the present day. Credit scoring was invented as a way to consider only that which was relevant to a borrower's likelihood to pay back the lender.

Deliquencies, derogatory payment behavior, debt level, length of credit history, types of credit and number of inquiries are all considered in credit scores. Your score considers positive and negative items in your credit report. Late payments will lower your score, but consistently making future payments on time will improve your score.

Your report should have at least one account which has been open for six months or more, and at least one account that has been updated in the past six months for you to get a credit score. This history ensures that there is sufficient information in your credit to assign an accurate score. If you don't meet the minimum criteria for getting a score, you might need to establish your credit history prior to applying for a mortgage loan.

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