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Before lenders make the decision to lend you money, they must know that you are willing and able to repay that mortgage loan. To understand your ability to repay, they assess your income and debt ratio.
To assess your willingness to repay the mortgage loan, they consult your credit score.
Fair Isaac and Company developed the original FICO score to help lenders assess creditworthiness. For details on FICO, read more here.
Credit scores only take into account the information contained in your credit reports. They don't consider your income, savings, amount of down payment, or factors like sex ethnicity, nationality or marital status. These scores were invented specifically for this reason. "Profiling" was as bad a word when these scores were first invented as it is now. Credit scoring was invented as a way to consider only that which was relevant to a borrower's likelihood to pay back a loan.
Deliquencies, derogatory payment behavior, debt level, length of credit history, types of credit and number of inquiries are all considered in credit scores. Your score reflects the good and the bad in your credit report. Late payments lower your score, but consistently making future payments on time will raise your score.
Your report must have at least one account which has been open for six months or more, and at least one account that has been updated in the past six months for you to get a credit score. This history ensures that there is sufficient information in your credit to calculate a score. If you don't meet the criteria for getting a credit score, you might need to establish your credit history prior to applying for a mortgage loan.