Credit Scores

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Before lenders decide to give you a loan, they need to know if you're willing and able to repay that mortgage loan. To understand your ability to repay, they assess your income and debt ratio. To assess your willingness to repay, they use your credit score.

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

Your credit score is a result of your repayment history. They don't consider income or personal characteristics. These scores were invented specifically for this reason. "Profiling" was as bad a word when FICO scores were first invented as it is now. Credit scoring was developed as a way to take into account solely that which was relevant to a borrower's willingness to repay a loan.

Past delinquencies, payment behavior, current debt level, length of credit history, types of credit and number of credit inquiries are all calculated into credit scoring. Your score considers both positive and negative information in your credit report. Late payments count against you, but a consistent record of paying on time will improve it.

Your credit report should contain 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 payment history ensures that there is enough information in your credit to calculate an accurate score. If you don't meet the minimum criteria for getting a score, you may need to establish your credit history prior to applying for a mortgage loan.

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