Before lenders make the decision to lend you money, they want to know that you're willing and able to pay back that mortgage. To figure out your ability to pay back the loan, they assess your debt-to-income ratio. To assess how willing you are to repay, they use your credit score.
The most widely used credit scores are called FICO scores, which were developed by Fair Isaac & Company, Inc. Your FICO score ranges from 350 (very high risk) to 850 (low risk). You can learn more on FICO here.
Your credit score comes from your history of repayment. They don't consider income or personal characteristics. Fair Isaac invented FICO specifically to exclude demographic factors like these. "Profiling" was as dirty a word when these scores were invented as it is in the present day. Credit scoring was developed as a way to take into account solely what was relevant to a borrower's likelihood to pay back the lender.
Your current debt level, past late payments, length of your credit history, and a few other factors are considered. Your score is calculated from both the good and the bad of your credit report. Late payments lower your score, but establishing or reestablishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your score.
Your report must contain at least one account which has been open for six months or more, and at least one account that has been updated in the past six months for you to get a credit score. This payment history ensures that there is sufficient information in your credit to assign an accurate score. If you don't meet the minimum criteria for getting a score, you might need to establish your credit history prior to applying for a mortgage loan.
F&T Mortgage, Inc. NMLS # 168839 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) can answer your questions about credit reporting. Call us: 214-300-8756.