"What is a FICO score? How can I change mine?"
If you have questions about your FICO score, be sure to ask your mortgage professional. It is easy to get a copy of your credit report, with or without scores, on your own. Whether you choose to do that, or have your broker do that for you, it is a good idea to review your FICO scores with your mortgage broker periodically. He or she can help you understand everything in your report and how each item affects your credit. This is helpful to you even if you're not currently shopping for a mortgage and will ensure that your credit is in top shape when you are.
The FICO score is used by lenders to estimate your ability to repay the loan. Your FICO score will influence the lenders decision of how much to lend and at what interest rate.
Your FICO score is an assigned rating that the major credit bureau assign to your credit. These scores vary from credit bureau company.
The best way to raise your fico score is to allways keep in mind "balance". Not enough established credit will hurt you, so will too much. No balances on your credit cards will lower your score, so will too high of a balance.
There are several ways to increase your fico score. It is best to speak with your mortgage professional and decide which way will increase your score the best. Often simple things can change your score dramatically.
Don't apply for lots of credit either, especially when you are trying to get a home loan. This can negatively impact your score, which in turn could cause you have a higher interest rate.
Be sure to keep a tab on your credit card's limits. Every 6 months you can call and request a higher credit limit often times without an credit inquiry. Keeping your maximum balance high can help your credit scores because a higher limit reduces the amount of credit utilization.
To ensure that your credit remains at the top of its range, don't use any more than 35% of any of your credit cards. This shows the credit agencies that you are able to manage your credit.
Many people have medical collections that are small and on their credit report. Simply paying these off and requesting a letter of 'paid in full' from that creditor (the medical professional's accounts receivable department) and sending it to all three credit bureaus will increase your score.
It is also a good idea to take a look at your credit report peridocially. Contest any discrepancies that you see on your report. It is very common to find accounts that do not belong to you on your report. Make sure that each bureau is notified and have it corrected.