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What Is A FICO Score?

A credit score is most commonly known as a FICO score. FICO stands for Fair Isaacs Corporation. It's a company that developed the credit scoring software used to evaluate your credit worthiness.

Most lenders use the FICO score to determine whether they should extend to you a mortgage, car loan, credit cards and any other type of credit. The higher your score, the more credit worthy you are. Lenders will know that more than likely, you pay your bills on time. The lower your score, the more risk the lender takes on, guessing that you might not pay the loan on time.

The FICO score ranges from 300 to 850. More than likely, you'll end up paying a larger monthly payment on your mortgage if your score is below 650. Your credit score, according to, is determined by:

  • Payment history-35%
  • Amounts owed-30%
  • Length of credit history-15%
  • New credit-10%
  • And types of credit in use-10%
  • If you don't have any credit, your credit score can be lower than someone who has had a credit history for several years. When you personally check your credit often, this will not affect your credit score. When existing creditors review your credit, these inquiries are not counted in your score.

    Since payment history is 35% of your score, you want to make sure you don't have a history of late payments on your credit report. The longer your credit history, the better. Having too many new credit accounts open can affect your score negatively.

    The bottom line is that a higher FICO score means you are more credit worthy to potential lenders. The lower your score, the greater a risk you are to lenders and therefore, your monthly payments might be higher.

    Michelle Roebuck provides mortgage and home buying advice for people with bad credit at Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.find-bad-credit-mort

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