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What is a Good Credit Score for a Kentucky FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae Conventional KHC Mortgage Loan Approval?
About FICO® Scores
A credit score is a number that summarizes your credit risk to lenders, or the likelihood that you’ll pay the lender back the amount you borrowed plus interest. The score is based on a snapshot of your credit report(s) at one of the three major credit bureaus—Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion®—at a particular point in time, and helps lenders evaluate your credit risk. Your credit score can influence the credit that’s available to you and the terms, such as interest rate, that lenders offer you.
A credit bureau, also known as a consumer reporting agency, collects and stores individual credit information and provides it to creditors so they can make decisions on granting loans and other credit activities. Typical clients include banks, mortgage lenders, and credit card issuers. The three largest credit bureaus in the U.S. are Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion®.
FICO® Scores are the most widely used credit scores and are used in over 90% of U.S. lending decisions. Your FICO® Scores (you have more than one) are based on the data generated from your credit reports at the three major credit bureaus, Experian®, TransUnion® and Equifax®. Each of your FICO® Scores is a three-digit number summarizing your credit risk, that predicts how likely you are to pay back your credit obligations as agreed.
Most credit scoring models follow a credit score range of 300 to 850 with that 850 being the highest score you can have. However, there can be other ranges for different models, some of which are customized for a particular industry (credit card, auto lending, or insurance for example). While the majority follow the 300 to 850 range, there are some scores (e.g., FICO® Bankcard Score) that range from 250 to 900 and others that may use other score ranges. For more information on the different scoring models, view Understanding the difference between credit scores.
There are many reasons why your score may change. The information on your credit report changes each time lenders report new activity to the credit bureau. So, as the information in your credit report at that bureau changes, your FICO® Scores may also change. Keep in mind that certain events such as late payments or bankruptcy can lower your FICO® Scores quickly.
FICO® Scores consider five main categories of information in your credit report.
- Your payment history
- The amount of money you currently owe
- The length of your credit history
- New credit accounts
- Types of credit in use
In order for a FICO® Score to be calculated, a credit report must contain these minimum requirements:
- At least one account that has been open for six months or more.
- At least one account that has been reported to the credit reporting agency within the past six months.
- No indication of deceased on the credit report (Please note: if you share an account with another person and the other account holder is reported deceased, it is important to check your credit report to make sure you are not impacted).
No. Most lenders use a number of factors to make credit decisions, including a FICO® Score. Lenders may look at information such as the amount of debt you are able to handle reasonably given your income, your employment history, and your credit history. Based on their review of this information, as well as their specific underwriting policies, lenders may extend credit to you even with a low FICO® Score, or decline your request for credit even with a high FICO® Score.
It depends on the type of negative information. Here’s the basic breakdown of how long different types of negative information will remain on your credit reports:
- Late payments: 7 years from the original delinquency date.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcies: 10 years from the filing date.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcies: 7 years from the filing date.
- Collection accounts: 7 years from the original delinquency date of the account
- Public Record: Generally 7 years
Keep in Mind: For all of these negative items, the older they are the less impact they will have on your FICO® Scores. For example, a collection that is 5 years old will hurt much less than a collection that is 5 months old.
No. FICO® Scores do not consider your gender, race, nationality or marital status. In fact, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits lenders from considering this type of information when issuing credit. Independent research has shown that FICO® Scores are not unfair to minorities or people with little credit history. FICO® Scores have proven to be an accurate and consistent measure of repayment for all people who have some credit history. In other words, at a given FICO® Score, non-minority and minority applicants are equally likely to pay as agreed.
Married couples don’t share joint FICO® Scores; each person has their own individual credit report, which is used to calculate FICO® Scores, and isn’t impacted by their spouse’s credit history. However, married couples should be mindful of the potential impact of opening joint credit accounts. For example, if you get a new credit card in both spouses’ names, and there is a late payment on that account, the late payment will impact both individuals’ FICO® Scores.
By federal law, you are entitled to one free credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company, TransUnion®, Equifax®, and Experian®. Find them at annualcreditreport.com. Take advantage of this service annually to ensure the information on your credit report is current and accurate.
Impacts to FICO® Scores
It is possible that closing a credit account may have a negative impact depending on a few factors. FICO® Scores may consider your “credit utilization rate”, which looks at your total used credit in relation to your total available credit. Essentially, it measures how much of your available credit you are actually using. The more of your credit that you use, the higher your utilization rate and high credit utilization rates may negatively impact your FICO® Score. Before you close any credit card account, Wells Fargo recommends that you should first consider whether you really need to close the account or if your real intention is just to stop using that credit card. If you really just want to stop using that card, it may make sense if you stop using the card and put it somewhere for safe keeping in case of an emergency. It’s also important to note that length of your credit history accounts for 15% of your FICO® Score calculation. Therefore, having credit card accounts that are open and in good standing for a long time may affect your FICO® Score.
Refinancing and loan modifications may affect your FICO® Scores in a few areas. How much these affect the score depends on whether it’s reported to the consumer reporting agencies as the same loan with changes or as an entirely new loan. There are many reasons why a score may change. FICO® Scores are calculated using many different pieces of credit data in your credit report. This data is grouped into five categories: payment history (35%), amounts owed (30%), length of credit history (15%), new credit (10%) and credit mix (10%). If a refinanced loan or modified loan is reported as the same loan with changes, two pieces of information associated with the loan modification may affect your score: the new credit inquiry and changes to the amounts owed. If a refinanced loan or modified loan is reported as a “new” loan, your score could still be affected by the new credit inquiry and an increase in amounts owed,— along with the additional impact of a new “open date” which may affect the credit history category. In the end, a new or recent open date typically indicates that it is a new credit obligation and, as a result, may impact the score more than if the terms of the existing loan are simply changed.
In general, if you are “loan shopping” - meaning that you are applying for the same type of loan with similar amounts with multiple lenders in a short period of time - your FICO® Score will consider your “shopping” as a single credit inquiry on your score if the shopping occurs within a short time period (30 to 45 day) depending on which FICO® Score version is used by your lenders.
A history of payments is the largest factor in FICO® Scores. FICO® Scores consider late payments in these general areas; how recent the late payments are, how severe the late payments are, and how frequently the late payments occur. So this means that a recent late payment could be more damaging to a FICO® Score than a number of late payments that happened a long time ago. Late payments are listed on credit reports by how late the payments are. Typically, creditors report late payments in one of these categories: 30-days late, 60-days late, 90-days late, 120-days late, 150-days late, or charge off (written off as a loss because of severe delinquency). Of course a 90-day late is worse than a 30-day late, but the important thing to understand is that people who continually pay their bills on time tend to appear less risky to lenders. However, for people who continue not to pay debt, and their creditor either charges it off or sends it to a collection agency, it is considered a significant event with regard to a score and will likely have a severe negative impact.
A bankruptcy is considered a very negative event by FICO® Scores. As long as the bankruptcy is listed on your credit report, it will be factored into your scores. How much of an impact it will have on your score will depend on your entire credit profile. As the bankruptcy item ages, its impact on a FICO® Score gradually decreases. Typically, here is how long you can expect bankruptcies to remain on your credit reports (from the date filed):
- Chapter 11 and 7 bankruptcies up to 10 years.
- Completed Chapter 13 bankruptcies up to 7 years.
These dates and time periods refer to the public record item associated with filing for bankruptcy. All of the individual accounts included in the bankruptcy should be removed from your credit reports after 7 years.
Public records are legal documents created and maintained by Federal and local governments, which are usually accessible to the public. Some public records, such as divorces, are not considered by FICO® Scores, but adverse public records, which include bankruptcies, are considered by FICO® Scores. FICO® Scores may be affected by the mere presence of an adverse public record, whether paid or not. Adverse public records will have less effect on a FICO® Score as time passes, but they can remain in your credit reports for up to ten years based on what type of public record it is.
Inquiries may or may not affect FICO® Scores. Credit inquiries are classified as either “hard inquiries” or “soft inquiries”—only hard inquiries have an effect on FICO® Scores.
Soft inquiries are all credit inquiries where your credit is NOT being reviewed by a prospective lender. FICO® Scores do not take into account any involuntary (soft) inquiries made by businesses with which you did not apply for credit, inquiries from employers, or your own requests to see your credit report. Soft inquiries also include inquiries from businesses checking your credit to offer you goods or services (such as promotional offers by credit card companies) and credit checks from businesses with which you already have a credit account. If you are receiving FICO® Scores for free from a business with which you already have a credit account, there is no additional inquiry made on your credit report. FICO® Scores take into account only voluntary (hard) inquiries that result from your application for credit. Hard inquiries include credit checks when you’ve applied for an auto loan, mortgage, credit card or other types of loans. Each of these types of credit checks count as a single inquiry. Inquiries may have a greater impact if you have few accounts or a short credit history. Large numbers of inquiries also mean greater risk.
Applying for new credit only accounts for about 10% of a FICO® Score. Exactly how much applying for new credit affects your score depends on your overall credit profile and what else is already in your credit reports. For example, applying for new credit may have a greater impact on your FICO® Scores if you only have a few accounts or a short credit history. That said, there are definitely a few things to be aware of depending on the type of credit you are applying for. When you apply for credit, a credit check or “inquiry” can be requested to check your credit standing.
Joel Lobb (NMLS#57916)Senior Loan Officer
Key Financial Mortgage Co. (NMLS #1800)*
107 South Hurstbourne Parkway*
Louisville, KY 40222*
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