In an effort to help you understand how you can begin to work on your credit, we want to provide you with some helpful links to information about credit:
All three of the major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) use a slightly different system to arrive at a score. The best known is called the FICO score, based on a model developed by Fair Isaac and Company.
While each of the models considers a range of data available in your credit report, the primary factors are:
- How long have you had credit?
- Do you pay your bills on time?
- How much do you owe on how many accounts?
- How many times have you had your credit checked?
Each of these, and other items, are assigned a value and a weight. The results are added up and distilled into a single number. FICO scores range from 300 to 800, with higher being better. Typical home buyers likely find their scores falling between 600 and 800. Less than 600 means that you may be better off going into our Lease & Own Program or our Rental Program until you can improve your score.
FICO scores are used for more than just determining whether or not you qualify for a mortgage. Higher scores indicate you are a better credit risk, and thus may qualify for a better mortgage rate.
What can you do about your FICO score?
Since the score is based on a lifetime of credit history, it is difficult to make a significant change in the number with quick fixes. The most important thing is to know your FICO score and to ensure that your credit history is correct.
You can read more about your scores and what you can do to help at the following sites:
You may also want to speak with a loan officer to determine how to best impact your score. We can recommend a couple of loan officers to assist you if you are not already working with someone.