From yesterday’s Boston Herald:

Mortgage brokers say consumers often say:  already checked my credit score online – then a loan officer finds the personal FICO score is 50 or 100 points lower than the borrower thought.

This is becoming a real problem – a lot of people simply dont know the difference between FICO scores and other scores. They think its all the same said Ginny Ferguson, a California mortgage broker and former chair of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers credit-scoring committee.

FICO scores, developed by Fair Isaac Corp. (hence the name FICO), are the mortgage industry predominant credit measure.

Bottom line? If you want to know whether or not you will qualify for a mortgage loan of a certain amount, call a mortgage broker or bank. It’s their business to provide assistance to buyers, so don’t hesitate to ask them for their opinion. Based on a simple one-time phone call, you can get a general idea, and, if you go one step further, and give them your social security number, they can run your FICO scores and give you a pre-approval letter.

Don’t feel an obligation to get your mortgage loan through the first mortgage broker you call (although a lot of people do). However, don’t go all over the place, having everyone run your credit score, because it will show up as a negative, if you do.

What you end up qualifying for can be a lot different from what you think. Using the internet to get an estimate is kind of a waste of time. It’s not using real-life data, so don’t waste your time.

More information: Here’s the scoop on credit scores – By Kenneth R. Harney, The Boston Herald

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Updated: January 2018

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