As a Mortgage Advisor and Credit Consultant there are some conversations that I have over and over again. There’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to mortgages and credit and I want you to have the facts. Here’s a sampling of the question(s) that I answered this week.
WHAT IS A FICO SCORE?
The term FICO refers to the model of scoring used to determine a credit score. FICO is the scoring model that is named in the federal mortgage loan guidelines. Lenders use this credit score to determine eligibility and options. A credit score is just an estimation of risk; this score shows how high risk or low risk someone is on paper as a credit user. Understanding the FICO model and what populates this credit score is the most effective way to have the ability to manipulate this score higher: when you know what creates the score, you also know how to create the score.
Many people assume that they need “good” credit or a 700 credit score (FICO) in order to be approved for a home loan. Did you know that you can get approved for a traditional Home Loan with a minimum credit score (FICO) of 550? I often see potential homebuyers hold themselves back; they share that they’d like to pay down debt or to boost their FICO score prior to getting started.
What if I told you that there are times when paying down debt can actually hurt your FICO instead of helping? It’s true. There are instances when focus on one debt instead of another can bring your score down. There are scenarios where to pay a collection is not only detrimental to your credit score but also not necessary to qualify for a home loan. The best thing that you can do is speak with a local professional about your personal scenario and get answers to your specific questions.