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WHAT’S A FICO®?

What is a FICO® Score?

FICO® stands for Fair Isaac & Company and is the name for the most well known credit scoring system, used by Experian. The credit bureau’s computer evaluates a complete credit profile and assigns a score, which is used to estimate credit worthiness. Each of the three bureaus (Experian, Trans Union, Equifax) employs its own scoring system, so a given person will usually have 3 separate scores. Someone with a higher score will be viewed as a better risk than someone with a lower score. Typically, scores will range from about 600 to 700 or above, although some cases will be outside this range.

What Kind of Score Do I Need for a Home Loan?

There are as many answers to this question as there are loan programs available. Most lenders will take the average of all 3 scores to evaluate an application. Niche loans, such as Easy Qualifier and low down payment loans will have higher FICO® requirements.

How is My Score Determined?

The FICO® model has 5 main elements:

  1. Past payment history (about 35% of score) The fewer the late payments the better. Recent late payments will have a much greater impact than a very old Bankruptcy with perfect credit since.
    Myth - paying off cards with recent late payments will fix things. Payoffs do not affect payment history.
  2. Credit use (about 30% of score) Low balances across several cards is better than the same balance concentrated on a few cards used closer to maximums. Too many cards can bring down the score, but closing accounts can often do more harm than good if the entire profile is not considered. BE CAREFUL WHEN CLOSING ACCOUNTS!
  3. Length of credit history (15% of score) The longer accounts have been open the better for the score. Opening new accounts and closing seasoned accounts can bring down a score a great deal.
  4. Types of credit used (10% of score) Finance company accounts score lower than bank or department store accounts.
  5. Inquiries (10% of score) Multiple inquiries can be a risk if several cards are applied for or other accounts are close to maxed out. Multiple mortgage or car inquiries within a 14 day period are counted as one inquiry.

How Can I Raise My Score

Your score can only be changed by the way that item is reported directly to the credit bureaus (Experian, TU, Equifax). Written confirmation from the creditor is required. It is best to make these corrections before you try to purchase a home, because you can never be sure the exact impact a change will have on your score.

What Does This Mean to Me?

You should have your credit reviewed BEFORE you look for a home, and work with a PROFESSIONAL loan officer to make sure your loan is based on the most accurate information.

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SALLIE CHESTER, REALTOR®
EXIT Real Estate Consultants
5175 Sunset Blvd, Ste 3
Lexington, SC 29072
Phone: 803-707-8595
Fax:  803-358-0889
Email: salliechester@exitrec.com

Client Testimonials

What a positive experience working with Sallie to sell our lake home!  She was kind, hard working, kept us informed, a problem solver and great person.  I would highly recommend her!! L. Davis ~ Nov, 2018
We started looking around the Lake Murray area in October of 2017 with very little information about the area as far as neighborhoods went. We were referred by a friend to Sallie Chester after starting with another REALTOR. Sallie was very knowledgeable and knew the lake well.  She was professional and absolutely one of the nicest people we’ve been around. After one year of looking, we found the perfect home for us; it was exactly what we wanted. Sallie was never pushy or impatient; she was willing to meet us anytime we needed, usually on a quick notice. What a blessing it was to find her! Thank you Sallie. Keith and Dawn B ~ Nov, 2018
“We enjoyed working with Sallie!  She was fair and honest with us and really knows the area. She has a nice and professional attitude which made the process easy!” Dave and Tamara M ~ Nov, 2018
Sallie Chester helped us look for our perfect lake home on and off for four years. She would point out issues with homes that sometimes we did not notice. We never felt pressured by her to buy a home. When we finally found the home we wanted and issues arose, Sallie worked diligently to help resolve them. Whenever we had questions, Sallie was always available to answer them. If anyone asks for a reputable REALTOR, I would urge them to use Sallie Chester. Tricia and Tim G. ~August 2018
Sallie Chester was referred to us, by Carolina One Realty. She is a personable, hardworking REALTOR that shares her faith. Sallie is quite a negotiator with her clients needs in her heart. Burnette and Ken W. ~August 2018
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