Home Mortgage-FICO-What Exactly Is It? ( Part 2)
In part one, we saw the first components of FICO were:
LENGTH OF PAYMENT HISTORY
TYPES OF CREDIT USED
The rest of the components are:
What lenders are looking for here is basically the ratio of actual debt to the approved amount of credit. This figure can give a measure of the ability to pay and the degree of risk associated with a new loan. The magic number is in the 25-30% range. Is the borrower overextended?
Fair Isaac looks at:
The amount owed on all accounts and on different types of accounts.
Whether you are showing a balance on certain types of accounts.
How many accounts have balances?
How much of the total credit line is being used on credit cards and other revolving credit accounts.
How much of installment loan accounts are still owed compared with the original loan amounts.
People tend to have more credit today and to shop for credit via the Internet and other channels more frequently than ever. Fair Isaac scores reflect this reality. However, research shows that opening several credit accounts in a short period of time does represent greater risk especially for people who do not have a long established credit history.
Multiple credit requests also represent greater credit risk. However, FICO scores do a good job of distinguishing between a search for many new credit accounts and rate shopping for one new account. Your score takes into account:
How many new accounts you have.
How long it has been since you opened a new account.
How many recent requests for credit you have made, as indicated by inquiries to the credit reporting agencies. Inquiries remain on your credit report for two years, although FICO scores only consider inquiries from the last 12 months. The scores have been carefully designed to count only those inquiries that truly impact credit risk see How the FICO Score Counts Inquiries for details.
Length of time since credit report inquiries were made by lenders.
Whether you have a good recent credit history, following past payment problems. Re-establishing credit and making payments on time after a period of late payment behavior will help to raise a score over time.
Check out www.myfico.com for a calculator using current rates. There is a wealth of information at www.fico.org
Knowing what the components of the FICO score are can lead you to getting a better score and help you to avoid some costly penalties. A difference of even a 100-200 points on your score can mean literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings in your lifetime. Isn't that worth the effort?
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