About Your Credit Score
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Before lenders decide to lend you money, they must know that you're willing and able to repay that mortgage. To assess your ability to repay, lenders look at your debt-to-income ratio. To assess your willingness to repay the loan, they look at your credit score.
The most commonly used credit scores are called FICO scores, which were developed by Fair Isaac & Company, Inc. The FICO score ranges from 350 (very high risk) to 850 (low risk). You can learn more about FICO here.
Credit scores only consider the information contained in your credit profile. They do not consider your income, savings, down payment amount, or personal factors like gender, ethnicity, nationality or marital status. Fair Isaac invented FICO specifically to exclude demographic factors. "Profiling" was as dirty a word when FICO scores were first invented as it is now. Credit scoring was invented as a way to consider solely that which was relevant to a borrower's willingness to pay back the lender.
Your current debt load, past late payments, length of your credit history, and a few other factors are considered. Your score is calculated from the good and the bad of your credit history. Late payments count against you, but a record of paying on time will raise it.
To get a credit score, you must have an active credit account with six months of payment history. This history ensures that there is enough information in your credit to assign a score. Some borrowers don't have a long enough credit history to get a credit score. They should spend some time building up credit history before they apply for a loan.