Learning Center Article

Article: Mortgage Loans - Understanding FICO Scores

Apply for a mortgage loan and you'll soon become familiar with FICO scores. Here's a primer on the infamous FICO scoring process.

FICO scores are merely a mathematical representation of your credit record. Credit records are simply a recording of your debts and assets. Credit card balances, for instance, are a debt that appears on your credit record, as do late payments, bounced checks and so on. Credit, of course, is a huge consideration in the mortgage loan process.

A "credit score" is a figure that represents an overall valuation of how you handle credit and the risk level associated with giving you more credit, to wit, a mortgage loan. The loan underwriter will review your credit report for items such as payment history on debts, debt balances and types of credit you already have. A summary of this information is represented by a figure known as you "FICO score."

FICO Credit Scores

You may be surprised to learn that "FICO" doesn't stand for any credit-related terms. Instead, it stands for Fair, Isaac and Company. This company developed the mathematical formula that produces the much loved or hated FICO scores. The FICO score assigned to you determines whether you love or hate the formula.

FICO scores come in a range of three digit numbers. The lowest FICO score you can get is 350. The highest FICO score is 850, a score for which bankers will bow at your feet. The higher your score, the better your credit situation and the more likely a bank is to provide you with a mortgage loan.

Most people do not have perfect credit. To this end, we find most people have FICO scores ranging from the low 600s to the high 700s. Mortgage applications typically are not rejected because of a few late payments.

If you're considering purchasing a house, you should always try to pre-qualify for a mortgage loan. Getting a reading of your FICO score should be one of the first steps.

About the Author: Dan Lewis is a mortgage broker with http://www.gwhomeloans.com/ - San Diego mortgage brokers providing home loans and refinances. Visit http://www.gwhomeloans.com/services.html to learn more about options for San Diego mortgages.

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