How Lenders Rate Your Credit Scores                                                    


When you buy real estate, lenders run all of the “big three’ credit bureau reports. Each credit reporting agency lists your credit history as supplied to them by the individual lenders and includes governmental records. Each report assigns a credit score number to you. The credit scores reflect your theoretical risk of default to the lending institutions.

Software developed by Fair Isaac and Company generates your “FICO score.” Experian uses a system called Fair Isaac Risk Model, a computer program which rates you with a score according to Experian’s information. Equifax bases scores on BEACON programs and TransUnion bases scores on EMPIRICA models.

Your Baseline

You have three credit scores, often called FICO scores, one from each credit bureau. The lender takes the middle score as your baseline. Lenders have different standards, but generally a “C” score is around 500 to 600, a “B” is around 600 to 680, and an “A-” is above 680. Over 700 is the magical number that gets you the attention you desire. If your score is under 500, find someone to privately finance for you or a partner with good credit while you work on improving your score.

How Lenders Rate You

Credit score    Available mortgage financing

720 – 800 Superb! You get what you wan

700 – 719 Wonderful! You get top rates & terms

680 – 699 Good! You get good rates & terms

660 – 679 All right. You pay higher costs & rates

640 – 659 Okay score if good income

620 – 639 Weak. You need good income & some money

600 – 619 Poor. Use creative loan broker & pay more loan costs

580 – 599 Almost impossible without large down payment

Under 580 Work on fixing credit without delay

What Does Not Count In a Credit Score

The scoring model doesn’t compute:

Age & gender


Whether you own a home or rent

Length of time at your current address

Job or length of employment at your job



Marital status

Whether or not you’ve been turned down for credit