Credit Score Information

Know your situation

Credit scores are likely to play a key role in your ability to obtain credit (auto loan, mortgage loan, credit card, etc.) and in the determination of the interest rate you will pay for that credit. A borrower with a favorable credit score is more likely to be approved and to pay a lower interest rate on new credit. However, the impact of a credit score goes even further—your score could be reviewed when you are renting housing in the future, when applying for a cell phone or cable TV account, and may even impact whether you must pay a deposit before receiving electric and gas utility service.

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To learn more, download the booklet “Know Your Credit Score published by FICO and the Consumer Federation of America. Also, be sure to review the Education Center on myFICO (


Don’t have a credit score?
If you don't have a credit score, you might be able to qualify for a mortgage on the basis of consistently paying your rent and other monthly expenses, such as utilities and mobile phone service. Ask a housing counselor or mortgage lender for details.


Credit impact

Any time you miss a payment—whether it’s your mortgage or your credit card bill—this can be reported and listed on your credit report. The more times you are late (or miss payments), the more negative items that may appear on your credit report, which in turn may lower your FICO® score.

According to FICO, typically borrowers with no previous record of late mortgage payments can expect to see their scores drop anywhere from 50 to 100 points if their mortgage company reports that they have been 30 days late with their mortgage payment. FICO® scores range from 300-850®, and most people score in the 600s and 700s (the higher the score, the better).

If you have become delinquent and have not been able to make your payments, this will be reported based on your level of delinquency—late 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, etc. Likewise, a foreclosure, which will involve many missed payments as well as repossession of the property, will have a damaging impact to your credit and may take several years (as many as seven years) for your credit to fully recover.

The options on this site that modify your mortgage terms, suspend or reduce your payments, or allow you to sell or leave your home and avoid foreclosure, may have a negative impact on your credit. According to FICO, the impact to your credit score will depend on what’s being reported (i.e., the action being pursued, any late payments reported, etc.) as well as on your overall credit profile. For example, a mortgage modification on your credit report could lower your FICO® score by more than 50 points. A foreclosure could lower your FICO® score by 100 points or more.

To find out how each option may affect your credit score, ask your mortgage company for specific details.

Copyright ©2001-2010 Fair Isaac Corporation. All rights reserved. FICO® is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation. Many factors affect your FICO® scores and the interest rates you may receive. Fair Isaac is not a credit repair organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Fair Isaac does not provide "credit repair" services or advice or assistance regarding "rebuilding" or "improving" your credit record, credit history or credit rating.