FICO Credit Score


FICO Credit Score


Get your credit in order before you try to buy a North County home listing. One of the pieces of what seems like a puzzle to many North County buyers is the FICO credit score.  In the past many buyers have been in the dark about what makes up their FICO credit score and how  that score affects their ability to get a loan.  Now North County buyers have direct access to websites such as  and www.equifax.comPrudential California Realty clients can find their scores for free and gain a much greater knowledge of their credit than clients could in the past.  They can also find out how to correct and improve their FICO credit score.

What is a FICO Credit Score?

In the late 1980’s, Fair Isaac and Company devised a mathematical formula to help predict the amount of credit risk associated with and individual.  They did this with a mathematical model using data collected from different sources on an individual.  Today, the FICO credit score is the model most widely used by all lenders.  FICO scores range from 300-850®.  The higher the score the better the credit risk according to Fair Isaac.

Your North County lender will use your FICO credit report and other methods to determine your credit risk, or the likelihood that you will make your loan payments and someday repay the loan.

What Makes Up a FICO Credit Score?

A FICO score is calculated from different sources that can be grouped into five major categories.  These are:

  • Your Payment histories – 35%
  • What you owe – 30%
  • Length of your credit history – 15%
  • Amount of new credit – 10%
  • Types of your credit 10%

What is Not in Your FICO Score?

There are many things not included in your FICO score.  These are:

  • Where you live
  • Interest rates being charged on a particular credit card
  • Family or child support obligations
  • Rental agreements
  • Your race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, and marital status
  • Your salary, occupation, title, employer, date employed or employment history

What Can Affect Your FICO Credit Score?

There are many things that do affect you FICO score.  These things are:
  • High outstanding debt, especially “revolving credit card debt”
  • Delinquent payments
  • The amount of new accounts you have opened right before applying for credit
Get these tip for raising your credit score.

What Can You Do to Improve Your FICO Score?

  • Pay your bills on time.  Late payments and collections can have a serious negative impact on your score.
  • Get current and stay current.   Pay your bills on time and improve your score.
  • Keep balances low on all credit card accounts.
  • Pay off debt rather than moving it around.  Owing the same amount, but have fewer accounts can help.
  • Apply for and open new credit card accounts only as needed.
  • If you have been managing credit for a short time, don’t open a lot of new accounts too rapidly.
  • Don’t apply for the same loan at a lot of different places at the same time.  Each time you apply can reduce your FICO score.

North County buyers should do everything they can to improve their FICO scores.   There are many other things that lenders will also use to make credit decisions, including your income and employment history.

Before you buy a North County Home check with a local lender and get a letter of prequalification.  Most sellers of bank owned listings, reo’s, foreclosures and short sales will not consider any offer without a pre-qual letter.  A winning lender that can help you get prepared to buy a home is Home Services Lending.   For more home information,  contact Gary Harmon , your North County Realtor.