About Your Credit Score

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Before lenders make the decision to give you a loan, they have to know that you're willing and able to pay back that loan. To assess your ability to pay back the loan, they assess your income and debt ratio. To assess your willingness to repay, they use your credit score.

The most commonly used credit scores are FICO scores, which Fair Isaac & Company, a financial analytics agency, developed. The FICO score ranges from 350 (very high risk) to 850 (low risk). For details on FICO, read more here.

Your credit score comes from your history of repayment. They don't consider income or personal characteristics. These scores were invented specifically for this reason. Credit scoring was developed as a way to take into account only what was relevant to a borrower's likelihood to repay a loan.

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

For the agencies to calculate a credit score, borrowers must have an active credit account with a payment history of six months. This payment history ensures that there is enough information in your credit to generate a score. Should you not meet the criteria for getting a credit score, you may need to establish your credit history before you apply for a mortgage loan.

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