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Figuring Out Your Credit Score

Jul 15, 2008
One of the first things a lender will do before granting a loan for a home is to run a credit check on the buyer. This will help them assess they buyer's ability to pay a loan and see how they have managed their bills and money in the past. A credit report will show the money that comes in and goes out and how much a buyer will be able to afford. There is a lot to be told with a simple credit report. Yet so many first time home buyers have no idea what their credit score is or even how to find out. According to one consumer credit counseling service "the first time people think about their credit is when their in the market for a home. Often the last thing they do in the buying process is to look at their credit report, but that is really the first thing they should do. Your credit score will determine the interest rate you get or even whether you will be extended a loan at all."

When first considering purchasing a home the buyer should run a credit report; everyone is entitled one free report a year. There are three companies that provide credit information, Experian, Equifax and Transunion and you can obtain your credit report from them online. Look closely at your report and identify any information that is not correct; dispute this immediately. When your report is pulled before you begin shopping for your home you will have time to fix errors, improve your score and you won't fall in love with a home you simply cannot afford.

Even if you go to your local credit bureau to obtain your credit report it usually is a small investment. It is not uncommon to have information that is false on the report and fixing these errors as soon as you can helps to obtain the loan with the best credit rates as possible.

A FICO score is appointed to you based on your credit report. FICO is the most widely used scoring system and stands for Fair Isaac Corporation and is intended to demonstrate the likelihood a borrower will default on his or her loan or declare bankruptcy. To obtain the score, generally a borrower is compared to other consumers. One borrower that has two late payments over 30 days will be scored against similar delinquent-payers. That borrower will then be graded according to risk variables used by the scoring model and will be ranked within the group of similar borrowers. Most of the larger banks and lenders build their own credit scoring models and will use that.

Statistical models to generate a credit score is subject to federal regulations that prohibits a credit scoring model from using biases such as race, skin color, religion, sex and marital status. The credit scoring model must also be empirical and statistically sound and if a borrower is denied based on the credit score the lender must state the specific reasons such as "too many delinquencies."
About the Author
J Stromsteen has many years expertise in the finance, real estate, and insurance industry. She contributes to various websites such as First Time Home Buyer where you can find today's mortgage rates as well as a wealth of information on getting a First Time Home Buyers Loan .
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