How FICO Credit Scores Are Calculated

Looking for a mortgage loan? We will be glad to assist you! Give us a call today at 866-300-1550. Ready to get started? Apply Here.


Since we live in an computer-driven society, it's not surprising that your ability to repay your mortgage boils down to just one number. All the years you've been paying your various bills: your mortgage, car payments, and credit card bills can be analyzed, diced, spindled and mutilated into a single indicator of whether you're likely to meet your future obligations.

Each of the three credit agencies has its own formula for building your credit score. The original FICO model was developed by Fair Isaac and Company. Experian uses this model and calls its score FICO. Equifax's model, based on FICO, is called BEACON, while TransUnion, which also uses a slightly modified FICO, calls its score EMPIRICA. While these methods vary from one agency to another, all of the agencies use the following to calculate a credit score:

  • Credit History - How many years have you had credit?
  • History of Payments - Do you pay your bills on time?
  • Balances on your Credit Cards - How many accounts do you hold? How much do you owe on your accounts?
  • Requests for Credit - How many times have you had your credit checked for a loan?

These factors are weighted slightly differently depending on which formula the agency uses. Each formula produces a single number which may vary a a little from one agency to another. Credit scores range from 300 to 850. Higher scores are better. Most borrowers who want to get a mortgage loan have a score above 620.

Your credit score greatly affects your interest rate

FICO scores affect more than your ability to get a loan. They also affect your interest rate. Lenders give lower interest rates to individuals with higher scores.

Can I improve my FICO score?

Unfortunately, there isn't a lot you can do to immediately improve your credit score. Since the credit score is entirely based on your lifelong credit history, it's very hard to significantly improve the number with quick fixes. You must remove any incorrect data from your credit report, which is the only way to quickly improve your credit score.

How do I find out my FICO score?

To raise your credit score, you must get the reports that the agencies use to build it, and of course, you need the score itself. Fair Isaac, the corporation that invented the original FICO score, sells FICO scores on its website: myFICO.com. It's inexpensive, fast, and easy to get your credit score along with credit reports from all three reporting agencies. They also provide information and tools that help you analyze what actions might have the greatest impact on your FICO score.

You can get a free credit report once per year from all three credit reporting agencies by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. These reports do not include a free score, but it's very inexpensive to get one at the same time.

Now that you have all the facts, you will be a more informed consumer and you'll be better positioned to get the right mortgage for you.

Want to know more about your credit score? Give us a call: 866-300-1550.

Got a Question?

Do you have a question? We can help. Simply fill out the form below and we'll contact you with the answer, with no obligation to you. We guarantee your privacy.

Your Information
Your Question