Scoring Your FICO

Raise your FICO score  to buy a property in Park City with Brown & Company of Park City, Inc. as your REALTOR - 435-649-5551

Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. In reality, the home buying process starts and ends with your finances. Saving your money for a down payment is great, but if you lack a strong credit score to back it up, you could find yourself renting for another couple of years in Park City, Utah until your score improves.

A FICO score is a review of your years of credit history based on an instrument developed by Fair Isaac and Company. Most people usually have a score of 650, but scores range from 300 to 850. Since we've experienced an economic downturn, however, some borrowers have seen their score lowered as a result of underemployment, delinquent credit card accounts, or credit card accounts terminated because the card didn't carry a high balance. Some of the pieces in determining your FICO score are:

  • Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus how much credit you have available?
  • Credit Inquiries — How many times has your credit history been accessed by someone other than you?
  • Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of loans and credit cards?
  • Payment History — Do you pay your bills on time ?

In reviewing your credit history, you'll discover that you actually have three reports. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — three of the major credit reporting agencies — use a slightly different models to determine your credit rating. FICO is used by Experian. Equifax's model is called BEACON and TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. You have a credit score with all of the bureaus.

Lenders want to be positive that giving you a loan isn't a risk for them. Your credit score gives lenders a view of what type of borrower you'll be based solely on your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 700 to get a decent interest rate. If your score is lower, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest paid over the life of the loan could be more than double that of an individual having a near perfect credit score.

We're used to working with all tiers of credit scores. Call us at 435-649-5551 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.

There are ways to increase your score. Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be rare to make a significant change in your number with small changes, but your score can improve in a few years by keeping tabs your credit report and by using your credit wisely. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these helpful hints:


Raise your FICO score  to buy a property in Park City with Brown & Company of Park City, Inc. as your real estate professional - 435-649-5551
  • Pay on time. How often you're late with payments greatly affects your credit score. It's where people who have recently experienced job loss see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to restore your credit with payment history, but it's the most reliable way to show that you're responsible enough to make payments to a bank.
  • Correct your credit report. If you discover mistakes on your credit report, write to the bureau requesting that the item be removed. If you have a common name or the same name as a family member, you'll want to pay extra attention to make sure the activity reported is correct.
  • Spread your debt around. At first, this doesn't sound like a good idea. But, you want to avoid of having one card that is maxed out and have the rest of your cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at about less than 40% of their credit limit than to have the most of your debt sitting on one card.
  • Apply for service station cards or store credit. For those who have no credit or less-than-stellar credit, store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to establish your credit history, increase your credit limits and keep up your payments, which will raise your FICO score. You must always beware of maintaining a large balance for too long because these types of cards normally have a steeper interest rate.
  • Don't let your cards get dusty. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, be sure to use your cards to make sure your accounts stay active. But, make sure you pay them off in no more than two or three payments.

Now that you're more informed about credit reporting, you'll be able to successfully take the first step in owning a home, and that is improving your FICO score. Remember that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a home, you'll want to keep your lender applications within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Brown & Company of Park City, Inc., the loan application process can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can become a homeowner.

Get more information by visiting myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and review your credit history for free at annualcreditreport.com. And, for a small payment, you can get your FICO score from each bureau on their websites: equifax.com, experian.com and transunion.com.

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