A Score that Really Matters: The Credit Score

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Before lenders make the decision to give you a loan, they want to know that you are willing and able to pay back that mortgage. To assess whether you can repay, they assess your income and debt ratio. To calculate your willingness to repay the mortgage loan, they consult your credit score.

Fair Isaac and Company formulated the original FICO score to assess creditworthiness. You can find out more about FICO here.

Credit scores only take into account the info contained in your credit profile. They don't consider income or personal characteristics. These scores were invented specifically for this reason. Credit scoring was envisioned as a way to assess willingness to pay without considering any other irrelevant factors.

Deliquencies, payment behavior, current debt level, length of credit history, types of credit and number of inquiries are all considered in credit scoring. 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.

Your report must 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 enough information in your report to calculate a score. Some borrowers don't have a long enough credit history to get a credit score. They may need to spend some time building up credit history before they apply for a loan.

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