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What is a Good Credit Score?

October 6, 2016 at 9:49 AM

Your credit score is a number between 350 - 850 on a scale created by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO). This number is known as your FICO® score, and it is used by lenders as a snapshot of your credit history and a summary of risk involved to lending to you. The score is calculated based on an analysis of a person's credit history and files.

 The higher the credit score, the lower the risk to the lender and generally means a lower interest rate to you as a borrower. A lower credit score equates to more potential risk to lenders and generally higher interest rates to you as a borrower.


What factors go into determining a credit score?

Your credit score changes as new information is updated in your credit report. There are five primary factors that determine this constantly updating score. Here is what the credit reporting agencies are looking at, and what you can do to optimize your score.

  1. Payment history (35 percent of your overall score): Account payment history, which includes any late or past due payments.

  2. Utilization rate (30 percent of your overall score: This is how much you owe on your accounts compared to your credit limits. A debt to credit limit ratio helps determine if you are maxed out. The amount of credit you have available on accounts is heavily weighted.

  3. Length of credit history (15 percent of your overall score): How long you have had accounts open and how long you have been using and paying off credit.

  4. Type of credit (10 percent of your overall score): How many open accounts you have as well as the different types, such as revolving cards and installment plans.

  5. Inquiries (10 percent of your overall score): Your pursuit of new credit, including credit inquiries and number of new accounts.


Each lending institution uses its own strategy, including the level of risk it finds acceptable for a given credit product. There is no standard “cutoff score” used by all lenders. There are other factors that lenders will use to determine what interest rates you will get.

Our specialty programs can help individuals re-enter the housing market who have previously had a short sale, pre-foreclosure, or foreclosure. Don’t count yourself out of the housing market if your credit score is less than perfect.

When you apply for a home loan with American Pacific Mortgage, we will check your credit score for you as part of the pre-application process and walk you through our different programs to find the one that works for you. Speak with a loan advisor today to get started. 


*American Pacific Mortgage Corporation is not a credit repair company; this information is for information purposes only. We are not licensed credit repair specialists or counselors.
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