Showing posts with label Credit Scores. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Credit Scores. Show all posts

What credit score do mortgage lenders use?

The best-known credit scores are going to fall under either the FICO or VantageScore brands. There are multiple generations of each score brand, as every few years, the score developers create newer versions. So, for example, there’s a VantageScore 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0.

In most lending environments outside of mortgages, it’s hard to know which specific credit score a lender will use to evaluate your application. And, even if you knew your lender used a FICO Score or a VantageScore credit score, you still would not know which generation of the score it is using.

For example, you may apply for an auto loan with one lender that checks your FICO Auto Score 8 based on your Experian credit report. Yet, if you apply for financing with a different auto lender, it may opt to check your VantageScore 3.0 score based on TransUnion data.

The only way to know for sure is to ask the lender which credit report and which credit score version it plans to check, but that isn’t a guarantee that they’ll tell you.

The mortgage industry is different. Because of the aforementioned FHFA mandate, mortgage lenders must use the following versions of FICO’s scoring models:

FICO Model

FICO 9Newest version. Not widely used.
FICO 8Most common. Used for Auto and Bankcard lending.
FICO 5Used by mortgage lenders. Built on data from Equifax.
FICO 4Used by mortgage lenders. Built on data from TransUnion.
FICO 2Used by mortgage lenders. Built on data from Experian.

  • Experian: FICO Score 2, sometimes referred to as FICO V2 or FICO-II
  • TransUnion: FICO Score 4, sometimes referred to as FICO Classic 04
  • Equifax: FICO Score 5, sometimes referred to as BEACON 5.0

Why Do Mortgage Lenders Use Older FICO Scores?

The reason mortgage lenders use older FICO Scores is because they don’t have a choice. They are essentially forced to use them.

Unlike every other industry, mortgage lenders don’t have the flexibility to choose the scoring model brand or generation they want to use. Mortgage lenders must follow the direction of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as it pertains to scoring models.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

The GSEs play an important role in mortgage lending. These publicly traded companies buy mortgages from banks, bundle them together, and sell them to investors. This frees up funds so that banks can offer new mortgages to additional homebuyers.

For a bank to sell a mortgage to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the loan has to meet certain guidelines. Some of these guidelines require borrowers to have a minimum credit score under specific FICO Score generations.

If a lender uses a different scoring model other than what the GSEs approve when it underwrites a mortgage, it probably won’t be able to sell that mortgage after it issues the loan. This limits the lender’s ability to write new loans because it will have less money available to lend to future borrowers

Link to article below

Current Credit Score Requirements for Kentucky FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional Mortgages Loans in Kentucky!


Kentucky FHA Mortgage Loans



·         Minimum credit score: 620 AUS approved, 640 manuals

·         Non-Credit Qualifying Streamline refinances allowed

·         Gift funds allowed for down payment and closing costs

·         Cash out 80% LTV



KENTUCKY VA MORTGAGE LOANS 👈👈👈 Read more at link 

·         Minimum credit score: 620 AUS approved, 640 manuals

·         Cash-out up to 90% LTV

·         Foreclosure/Short Sale/Bankruptcy <2 years allowed with AUS Approval




·         Minimum credit score: 640

·         100% maximum LTV

·         No maximum loan amount

·         Rate/Term refinances allowed




·         620 min score

·         Fannie Mae

·         Freddie Mac

·         Standard and High Balance

·         HomeReady

·         HomePossible


How Do Mortgage Companies Average the Score on All 3 Credit Reports?

How Do Mortgage Companies Average the Score on All 3 Credit Reports?

ow Do Mortgage Companies Average the Score on All 3 Credit Reports?

Your credit score measures your risk of paying late or defaulting on a loan. Lenders use credit scores along with the rest of your loan information to measure your likelihood of paying back the debt on time. Credit scores allow mortgage companies to use software programs called automated underwriting systems, or AUS, to determine if the amount of risk is acceptable for the loan program requested.

Credit Bureaus

The three major credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Lenders are encouraged to report loans and payment history to the credit bureaus on a monthly basis. When companies need to examine a potential borrower's payment history, they buy a credit report using the borrower's name, address and Social Security number. Each credit bureau calculates the credit score differently. This is why the exact same information can be on all three credit reports and they all report a different credit score.

Factors that Affect Credit Scores

Many factors affect your credit score. Making your payments on time every month is one important factor. Payments made more than 30 days late will lower your credit score. Collections, judgments, tax liens, bankruptcy and foreclosure can have devastating effects on your credit score. Each time you authorize someone to look at your credit that can lower your credit score as well. 

Raising Your Credit Score

One misconception is the belief that paying off credit cards will raise your credit score. The credit bureaus want to see your ability to manage ongoing credit without missing payments or using the entire credit line. Pay down your credit cards so the balances are between 30 to 45 percent of the total available credit line. The older the credit line, the better. If you close a credit card, close the newest ones first and keep the older ones.

Finding the Middle Score

Mortgage lenders require access to all three credit bureaus for each borrower. They use the mid-credit score. If your three scores were 780, 776 and 790 they would use the middle of the three scores, in this case 780. They would not average the scores by adding the three numbers together and dividing the sum by three.

Minimum Credit Score Requirement

In January 2010, the Federal Housing Authority, or FHA, began requiring a minimum 580 credit score for any FHA loan with less than a 10 percent down payment or equity if the loan is a refinance. Conventional loans require a minimum credit score of 620. Lenders are allowed to require their own minimum credit score requirements beyond what the mortgage investors and insurers require. Having the required score does not guarantee loan approval; it is only one factor that lenders consider when approving a loan.

Consumer Federation of America: Your Credit Scores
Credit Credit Scores
Consumer Credit Help: Do They Add All Three Credit Score Points Together?

Kentucky USDA credit score and mortgage requirements

 Credit Scores and the Kentucky USDA Rural Development Loan Program 

The Kentucky USDA Rural Development Loan Program is by far the most credit score friendly loan program currently available. While USDA is willing to work with scores lower than 640 most lenders won't. Thus, pragmatically the minimum credit score required by USDA is 581.

For Kentucky homebuyers with a minimum credit score of 640 lenders may streamline the credit approval process normally required as part of the underwriting process. This means that a borrower:
With a lack of credit "depth" will not have to document non-traditional credit items such as utility or insurance payments
A negative past credit history may allow the Underwriter to not request letters of explanation for the cause of the past challenges
Collection accounts can remain open provided the Underwriter believes it unlikely that the account will eventually turn into a judgment
However, USDA is not willing to overlook certain overtly negative credit items even when the credit scores are over 640. For instance borrowers with any of the following adverse past credit should not expect to obtain credit approval using the USDA loan program:

Foreclosure or short sale within the last 3 years
Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharged within the past 3 years
Chapter 13 bankruptcy debt restricting plan completed within the last 12 months
Late mortgage payments within the last 12 months
Applicant or co-applicant delinquent on a federal debt; such as taxes, student loans, or previous agency loan (i.e. VA loan in which the eligibility was forfeited due to a foreclosure)

USDA may be willing to give a borrower an exception to a past bankruptcy or foreclosure prior to the three year period provided the borrower can document the cause of the past negative credit experience as being related to an illness or job loss and unlikely to reoccur.

Once the credit score exceeds 640, USDA allows this score to be considered as justification for allowing the borrowers debt-to-income-ratio to exceed the target ratios of 29% for the housing costs and 41% for the total debt ratio. Frequently USDA will approve loans where the housing ratios are in the high 30% range and total debt ratios are in the high 40% range.

Bottom line the Kentucky USDA Rural Development Loan Program is more flexible in approving a perspective borrower than any other loan program. But like any loan program today, the Loan Officer shouldn't assume that this level of credit flexibility will result in an automatic positive underwriting decision if the Underwriter doesn't feel strongly that the borrowers chance of success at homeownership is strong.

Credit Scores for a Kentucky Mortgage

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What Credit Score is needed for a Kentucky Mortgage VA loans Loan in 2013?

 Kentucky Mortgage VA loans are 100-percent financed and set aside for active and retired military, along with their families. There is no minimum credit score to qualify, though a better credit score will get you a better interest rate. Typically to get approved on A  Kentucky Mortgage VA loanyou will need a 620 mid score with no bankruptcies or foreclosures in last 2 years with clean credit since BK or Foreclosures.

The better your score, the better your interest rate is likely to be. If your score is between 620 and 639—considered a risky score by some creditors—you could pay an interest rate of 5.718 percent on a $300,000, 30-year conventional mortgage. As of mid-August, 2010, If your score is at the high end, 760 to 850, your interest rate could be 4.129 percent on the same loan. A score of 650 may net you a rate of 5.172 percent.

Minimum Credit Score Needed to Buy a House in Kentucky

Minimum Credit Score Needed to Buy a House

Your credit score is just one of the factors your mortgage lender will use to determine whether you qualify for financing. The problem is, every lender uses different methods to determine your credit worthiness. So, in some cases, a minimum score is difficult to determine for conventional loans. In other cases, especially when loans are underwritten or insured by government organizations, there are minimum credit scores to qualify.

Acceptable Scores

The score your lender will accept for a conventional loan can be determined by many factors, including your payment history, your salary history, your current wage, your available credit, the scores other lenders are accepting and the current economic climate. Cornett Communications advises that even in tight economic times, a score of at least 640 will get you in the door for financing.

Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae is one of two government-backed mortgage lending houses; Freddie Mac is he other. Independent lenders take many of their cues from what these two organizations do. According to the "Washington Post," Fannie Mae raised its minimum credit score for conventional loans in 2009 from 580 to 620. Even if you have a 20-percent down payment, you can be rejected if your score is below 620. Fannie Mae will also reject a loan if more than 45 percent of your income goes toward paying debt.

Government-Backed Loans

Home loans backed or financed by the Federal Housing Administration and the Veterans Administration have different views of credit scores. FHA recently changed its minimum credit score to 580, which qualifies you for lending programs that require only a 3.5 percent down payment. VA loans are 100-percent financed and set aside for active and retired military, along with their families. There is no minimum credit score to qualify, though a better credit score will get you a better interest rate.

What Your Score Gets You

Your credit score is one of the factors that will determine your mortgage loan interest rate. The better your score, the better your interest rate is likely to be. FICO, also known as the Fair Isaac Corporation, posted the differences in interest rate you may pay, depending on your score. If your score is between 620 and 639—considered a risky score by some creditors—you could pay an interest rate of 5.718 percent on a $300,000, 30-year conventional mortgage. As of mid-August, 2010, If your score is at the high end, 760 to 850, your interest rate could be 4.129 percent on the same loan. A score of 650 may net you a rate of 5.172 percent.

Addressing Your Credit Score

If your credit score won’t allow you to get a home loan now, you can so some things you can to improve your score, which are updated on a monthly basis. Make sure all of your bills are paid on time; late payments drive down your score. Pay down your credit balances; maxed-out credit accounts can also hurt your score. Also, check your credit report on a regular basis for errors. This is one of the easiest ways to improve your score. If you find errors on your report and you can prove they are errors, the credit bureau is obligated to remove them.

About the Author

M.C. Postins has been a writer and editor since 1995. His work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and websites across the country, such as the "Charlotte Sun-Herald" and the "Denton Record-Chronicle." He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Rapid Rescore for A Louisville Kentucky Mortgage Loan Approval

Rapid Rescore for A Louisville Kentucky Mortgage Loan Approval

Score Plus/Rescoring

Score Plus – Rapid Rescore – The Score Plus program allows Credit Plus to update credit information with the three national repositories in 5-7 business days. Credit Plus will forward documents supplied by your borrower directly to Equifax, TransUnion and Experian for a rush investigation. The repositories will update credit information and trade lines on their credit reports.

How long does it take to update credit information? While Score Plus is unable to guarantee a completion date, turnaround time to update credit information is typically 5-7 business days from the time your request is received. If the bureau rejects the documents, you will be promptly notified. 

What types of credit information can Score Plus update?
Given a verifiable document from the creditor, Score Plus can:
Remove derogatory information and accounts that were reported in error
Update an account that has been paid in full and closed
Update the status of a collection
Update a balance or paid-in-full status
Update an account to show that it was included in a bankruptcy
What documentation is required for Score Plus?
Bureaus require that all documents submitted:
MUST be typed on the creditor’s letterhead
MUST come from the creditor reporting the account
MUST state specifically how the information should be changed
MUST include the date, complete account number, and the name and contact phone number of the creditor

How to Get a Copy of My Credit Reports

By far, the most frequently asked question received at is "where do I get a copy of my credit report?"  Many people are confused because so many websites are offering free credit reports, but require consumers to sign up for credit monitoring or other services that cost a lot of money just to get a free credit report.  I will tell you how to get a truly free no strings attached credit report and you can thank former President George W. Bush for your free credit report.  President Bush thought people should receive one free copy of their credit reports each year, so when he was president, he had a law passed requiring the three major credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- to give all consumers a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months.  To comply with this law, the three credit bureaus created a website where consumers could get their free credit reports online.  The website address is  Now this doesn't mean that the credit bureaus aren't going to try and get some money from you.  If you visit the site and order your credit reports you will see buttons that try and get you to order your "free credit score" and credit monitoring and other services.  You don't really need any of these services.  The credit scores they offer at this site are the credit bureau credit scores and NOT the FICO credit score that lenders use to approve your home and auto loans and new credit cards, although the credit bureaus' credit scores are probably not that different from the FICO score.  

When you visit you will have to order your three different credit reports separately.  Each time you finish ordering from one credit bureau you need to click the link that takes you back to the website to order the next one.

5 Ways to Rebuild Your Credit Score

5 Ways to Rebuild Your Credit Score

Joel Lobb (NMLS#57916)Senior  Loan Officer
502-905-3708 cell
502-813-2795 fax

Key Financial Mortgage Co. (NMLS #1800)*
107 South Hurstbourne Parkway*
Louisville, KY 40222*

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Minimum Credit Scores on FHA Mortgage Loans

Minimum Credit Scores on FHA Mortgage Loans

What is the Minimum Credit Score for FHA Mortgage Loan?
Credit scores can determine whеthеr оr nоt hоmе buyers саn qualify fоr specific mortgage loan programs. TheFHA mortgage program hаs а muсh lower credit score requirement thаn conventional loan programs аvаіlаblе thrоugh Fannie Mae аnd Freddie Mac. Before getting yourself into bad credit mortgages from subprime lenders, consider borrowing with FHA. Most people do not realize that the Federal Housing Administration continues to approve home loans from borrowers with fico scores as low as 500. The FHA minimum credit score is not that simple though so continue reading and we will break it down for you.
Do уоu nееd а Minimum Credit Score іn order tо gеt аn FHA Home Loan?
The FHA loan program dоеs nоt officially hаvе minimum credit scores. Тhе final decision аs tо a minimum credit score fоr FHA loans іs left uр tо thе mortgage lenders whо mаkе thеsе loans usіng thе FHA program. Ноmе buyers саn find three types оf FHA loan companies offering these government home loans today:
1.         Minimum 640 Credit Score Lenders. Моst mortgage lenders nоw require а minimum 640 credit score аlоng wіth аn automated underwriting approval frоm thе FHA underwriting system іn order tо qualify fоr FHA home financing. (Total Mortgage іs оnе оf thеsе lenders.) Іf уоu hаvе а credit score аbоvе 640 but bеlоw 700 thеn thіs іs уоur оnlу option. Іf уоu hаvе а credit score аbоvе 700 аnd аrе making а dоwn payment оf lеss thаn 20%, уоu mау qualify fоr а conventional Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loan but thе monthly private mortgage insurance costs will bе muсh higher thаn thrоugh thе FHA program.
2.         Minimum 600 Credit Score Lenders. Тhеrе аrе а select fеwFHA lenders whо will approve FHA loans whеrе borrowers hаvе а credit score оf 600 оr higher. Ноwеvеr, borrowers must bе squeaky clean tо qualify fоr thеsе loans аnd аlsо must hаvе аn automated underwriting approval аs well. Borrowers wіth а credit score bеtwееn 600 аnd 640 аrе advised tо work closely wіth thеіr loan officer tо help gеt thеіr loan approved.
3.         Minimum 500 Credit Score Lenders. Ноmе buyers whо hаvе credit scores bеlоw 600 mау stіll hаvе аn opportunity tо buy а hоmе bу finding оnе оf thе fеw FHA mortgage lenders whо manual underwrite thеіr loans. Вut hоmе buyers beware: nоt оnlу аrе thеsе loans mоrе expensive thаn standard FHA loans (уоu will рrоbаblу gеt а rate аbоut оnе half tо оn full percentage point higher), gеttіng approved іs nоt thаt easy. Тhе FHA program іs nоt thе sub-prime loan program оf sеvеrаl years ago. Аnd еvеn thоugh lower credit scores аrе accepted, thаt dоеs nоt mеаn thаt bad credit іs acceptable. Fоr example, а borrower wіth а poor credit history whо hаs paid thеіr debts аnd іs lооkіng fоr а fresh start іs а candidate fоr thіs type оf FHA mortgage loan. А borrower whо hаs multiple outstanding unpaid charge-offs іs lеss lіkеlу tо gеt аn approval.
Credit score requirements fоr thе FHA program wеrе nоt lowered bу FHA mortgage lenders. Іnstеаd, Fannie Mae аnd Freddie Mac аlоng wіth private mortgage insurance companies increased thеіr minimum credit score requirements fоr hоmе purchase loans wіth dоwn payments оf lеss thаn 20%. Fоr mаnу low dоwn payment options, thе mortgage insurance companies hаvе јust canceled writing coverage completely.
If уоur credit score іs bеlоw 600, уоur best bet іs tо trу tо address thе credit issues thаt аrе dragging уоu dоwn bеfоrе trуіng tо buy а hоmе. Аlsо, іf thеrе аrе errors bringing dоwn уоur credit score, уоu саn work wіth а reputable credit repair company tо fіх thеsе problems. Тhе cost оfcredit repair hаs соmе dоwn dramatically wіth newer technology, аnd thе turnaround time tо fіх credit items hаs decreased frоm months years ago tо а couple weeks today.

FHA just requires a 500 credit score, but with less than a 580 credit score a 10% down payment is required, with a 580+ score then just 3.5% can be put down. The difference with Wells Fargo is that they require anyone with less than a 600 score to put 10% down though - including other limitations (such as the down payment must come from your own funds, not a gift from family/relatives, lower debt ratio limits, and need to have cleaner credit history for a longer period of time). 

Other than medical collection accounts, for FHA financing you'll need to have 12 months where no new collections have occurred, and some lenders are looking for up to 24 months. FHA doesn't have a defined time guideline on collection accounts, other than:… 

"The lender must document the analysis of delinquent accounts, including whether late payments were based on 

a disregard for financial obligations 
an inability to manage debt, or 
factors beyond the borrower's control, such as 
delayed mail delivery, or 
disputes with creditors. 

Minor derogatory information occurring two or more years in the past does not require an explanation. Major indications of derogatory credit, such as judgments, collections, and other recent credit problems, require sufficient written explanation from the borrower. The explanation must make sense, and be consistent with other credit information in the file." 

However lenders generally abide by the 12-24 month time frame for no new collections. If there is a repeated pattern of collections, expect it to be closer to the 24 month mark... if the collections were the first time in your credit history you've had issues, and those issues have resolved themselves, 12 months may be more acceptable. 

If you have unpaid collections, FHA does not require them to be paid (that goes for charge-offs with balances too), however each lender may impose their own guideline on when collections have to be paid (those guidelines are called "overlays") and some will require collections within X amount of time to be paid, or collections over X amount in total amount owed, or non-medical collections to be paid, etc. so it's good to ask about a lender's specific unpaid collection policy when determining if you want to proceed with a loan application with them. 

Other FHA information on collection accounts: 
"Collections and Judgments"… 
"Paying off Collections and Judgments"…

Joel Lobb
Senior  Loan Officer
text or call my phone: (502) 905-3708
email me at
The view and opinions stated on this website belong solely to the authors, and are intended for informational purposes only. The posted information does not guarantee approval, nor does it comprise full underwriting guidelines. This does not represent being part of a government agency. The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the view of my employer. Not all products or services mentioned on this site may fit all people. NMLS ID# 57916, ( Mortgage loans only offered in Kentucky.
All loans and lines are subject to credit approval, verification, and collateral evaluation and are originated by lender. Products and interest rates are subject to change without notice. Manufactured and mobile homes are not eligible as collateral

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