Credit Scores

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Before lenders decide to lend you money, they must know if you're willing and able to repay that mortgage loan. To assess your ability to repay, they look at your income and debt ratio. To assess your willingness to repay the mortgage loan, they consult your credit score.

Fair Isaac and Company developed the first FICO score to assess creditworthiness. We've written a lot more on FICO here.

Your credit score is a result of your history of repayment. They don't consider income or personal characteristics. These scores were invented specifically for this reason. "Profiling" was as dirty a word when FICO scores were first invented as it is today. Credit scoring was envisioned as a way to take into account solely that which was relevant to a borrower's likelihood to pay back the lender.

Your current debt load, past late payments, length of your credit history, and a few other factors are considered. Your score considers both positive and negative information in your credit report. Late payments count against you, but a record of paying on time will raise it.

For the agencies to calculate a credit score, borrowers must have an active credit account with six months of payment history. This history ensures that there is enough information in your report to calculate a score. If you don't meet the criteria for getting a credit score, you might need to work on a credit history before you apply for a mortgage.

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