Credit Corner: Be sure to check FICO scores before starting home search

It is important that consumers know and understand their credit scores. In fact, the very first step in the home-buying procsess should be a check of the consumer’s FICO credit scores. With this in mind, it is important to make sure that the actual “FICO” score is the score being pulled. Free online credit reports DO NOT give actual FICO scores, but rather simulated scores. Although these scores are often similar to actual FICO scores, they are not exactly the same and can give scewed results. Also, it is important to check the score at each of the three credit bureaus. Lenders always throw out the highest and lowest of the three scores using the middle FICO score. Pulling just one score could lead to a false sense of security that the credit score is OK if in fact the other two scores are less. Free online credit reports are useful and serve their purpose, but when it comes time to prequalify for a mortgage, the best practice is to have a full-service, local lender pull a three-bureau, merged credit report that gives all three FICO scores.

From myFICO’s “Understanding Your FICO Score” booklet


December 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment

About James

James A. Williamson is currently the Sr VP of Sales Development for Shelter Lending Services (formerly Fairfield Mortgage). James joined Shelter in 1994 and was the company's top Loan Officer in GA for 20 straight years helping over 2500 families finance their homes. James now oversees an incredible group of Loan Officers in Atlanta while further building Shelter's Atlanta business.

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