Your Credit Score: What it means

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

Fair Isaac and Company calculated the original FICO score to assess creditworthiness. You can learn more about FICO here.

Your credit score is a direct result of your history of repayment. They don't consider income or personal characteristics. Fair Isaac invented FICO specifically to exclude demographic factors. "Profiling" was as dirty a word when these scores were first invented as it is today. Credit scoring was invented as a way to take into account only 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 comes from both the good and the bad in your credit report. Late payments count against you, but a record of paying on time will raise it.

Your credit report must 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 history ensures that there is sufficient information in your report to generate a score. If you don't meet the minimum criteria for getting a score, you might need to establish your credit history before you apply for a mortgage.

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