Your Credit Score Explained
In a nutshell, credit scoring is a statistical method of assessing the credit risk of a loan applicant. The score is a number that rates the likelihood an individual will pay back a loan. The score looks at the following items: past delinquencies, derogatory payment behavior, current debt level, length of credit history, types of credit, and number of inquiries.
Credit scoring will place borrowers in one of three general categories.
- First, a borrower with a score 680 and above may be considered an A+ loan. The loan will involve basic underwriting, probably through a computerized automated underwriting system and be completed within minutes. Borrowers falling into this category will have a good chance to obtain a lower rate of interest and close their loan without any delays.
- Second, a score below 680 but above 620 may indicate underwriters will take a closer look at the file in determining potential risks. Borrowers falling into this category may find the process and underwriting time no different than in the past. Supplemental credit documentation and letters of explanation may be required before an underwriting decision is made. Loans within this scoring range may allow borrowers to obtain “A” pricing, but loan closing may still take several days or weeks as it does now.
- Third, borrowers with a score below 620 may find themselves locked out of the best loan rates and terms offered. Mortgage professionals may divert these borrowers to alternate funding sources other than FNMA (Fannie Mae) and FHLMC (Freddie Mac). Borrowers may find the loan terms and conditions less attractive than the “A” loans, and it may take some time before a suitable funding source is located.
As more companies utilize credit scoring, the loan approval and closing time will be compressed for most consumers. In the future, a high score may be your ticket to a speedy and competitively priced mortgage loan.