Why Credit Scores Are So Important for Mortgage Refinancing

Posted by Nick Niesen on October 29th, 2010

What is a Credit Score and why is it important for a mortgage loan?

A credit score is a rating that is also called a fico score. This rating yields a number that reflects your level risk to the creditors. The higher the score the better your credit rating. The lower your score, the bigger risk of credit you are considered. The score is generated using statistical model, that considers credit accounts from your credit report. Credit scores will determine the loan amount, interest rate, morgage terms, and in some cases the amount closing costs charged.

Your credit score is not archived or stored as part of your credit history in your credit file. The score is generated at the time a lender requests your credit report, and is then included with the report viewed by the creditors. Your credit score is a specific number, and it changes as the elements in your credit report change. For example, payment updates or a new account could cause your score to fluctuate. There are many different credit scores used in the financial service industry. Your score may be different from mortgage lender to mortgage broker, depending on the type of credit scoring model that was used.

Who uses credit scores and how are they used?

Banks, credit card companies, auto financers, retail stores and most other home equity lenders that issue credit or mortgage loans use credit scores to quickly summarize a consumer's credit history, saving the need to manually review an applicant's credit report and provide a more reliable, faster risk decision. Although many additional factors are used in determining risk, such as an applicant's income vs. the size of the loan, a credit score is a leading indicator of one's basic creditworthiness.

What information impacts my credit score?

The information that impacts a credit score varies depending on the score being used. Usually, credit scores are affected by payment patterns in your credit report. (ie. late payments, credit type, number of accounts and age of accounts) Other considerations are the total amount of revolving debt and recent inquiries. Remember that credit bureau scores cannot use demographics prohibited under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, such as race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, receipt of public assistance, or exercise of rights under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.

Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
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