More than any time that I can remember since I have been in the mortgage business, people are paying close attention to their credit scores.
People ask me questions like “what happens to my credit score if I <fill in the blank>?” on a regular basis and because of the nature of how exactly credit scores are calculated (it is mostly a secret), I have usually just been able to give general guidelines for each what-if scenario, that is why always use corporate credit risk monitoring.
Recently, FICO has released a little more information as to exactly how much of a credit score drop you can expect to see for certain financial mis-steps. While they didn’t address all of the possible things that could go wrong and as a result hurt your credit, they did address some of the more common ones.
Did you just max out your credit card? Expect your credit score to go down anywhere between 10 and 45 points. Just paid a payment 30 days late? Expect a 60 to 110 point hit. And if you are one of those people who has recently went through foreclosure? According to FICO you should see your credit score anywhere between 85 and 160 points lower than it was before it happened. This is why there are new services that clean up your credit report when it is need.
One of the interesting things I noticed about the “damage points” model is that the higher your credit score is before the mistake, the higher the penalty in damage points. One potential result of this algorithm that comes to mind as a result of this is that I suspect in 2 years from now, there may be more people with “decent” credit, but maybe not great credit.
Because in today’s world – it is more difficult than ever to keep a pristine credit score, visit a good site like https://www.debtconsolidation.com/credit-repair/ for help! If you want improve your credit standing, there are credit repair agencies that can help you.
And now, with the unveiling of the credit score damage points model – you know exactly what kinds of damage to your credit that you can expect should “something bad happen”.
About the Author: Justin McHood is a mortgage broker with VanDyk Mortgage Corporation. You can find him at Arizona Mortgage Team, on the Zillow’s Mortgages Unzipped Blog, and at most East Valley Friday Nights gatherings. He’s the one in the blue shirt.
M Realty says
The worst part about keeping a good credit score is that you have to stay on top of it and be watching the report. You can use the unnualcreditreport . com site, that is the true government mandated one where they have to give you your report once a year for free.
Ted Mackel says
Nice chart Justin – it's a pretty good guide but there are many variables on reports.
The formula to calculate FICO is as highly guarded as the recipe to Coke or Kentucky Fried Chicken. It is a trade secret known only to the Fair Issac Corp. The only place on the internet you can get a real FICO is at myFICO.com. The other places gives you a "FAKO" It is similar to a Zillow "Zestimate"; A Zestimate give you an idea what your home is worth, but you still need to go to a professionl to get the real story. If you are obtaining scores from places like "True Credit", you are getting a FAKO that give you an idea where you score is, but sooner or later you will need a real FICO and only Fair Isaac can calculate that.
A great place to learn how to fix your credit for free is http://www.creditboards.com when you get to the site go the the forums. There is about three or four good days of reading to get up to speed on the terminology and procedures, but they have the best grass roots people helping people network on the internet.
Oh yeah – never order a free credit report if you are going to work on your credit.
I have written a few blog posts on credit reports and repair:
http://homebuysblog.com/2008/04/19/in-introductio… http://homebuysblog.com/2008/04/21/three-reasons-… http://homebuysblog.com/2008/05/05/guerilla-credi…
Justin McHood says
Good point — have to keep on top of it.
Yep, the whole formula is guarded like a secret, good point! Also, great posts on credit, thanks for sharing.
Eric @ Honda Paint says
Thanks for providing the chart. As you indicated perplexing thing you noticed about the damage points model is "the higher your credit score is before the mistake, the higher the penalty in damage points." I really don't understand the logic of the penalties structure. So, because my original score is high because of my efforts to maintain a good score I am being punished more severely–it almost seem so arbitrary based on one's status. Why don't they do it by percentage rather than by hard numbers?
Greg Dallaire says
I greatly appreciate the great article about the importance of mistakes that can impact your credit score. I referenced your article on my website greenbaygregdotcom crediting you. You do a great job of actually explaining complex subjects in a great way. Keep up the great work!
wow you get hit hard with a great credit score… just doesn't seem fair
Augusta Real Estate says
You don't need to max out your credit card or pay it late to get a hit on your credit score. If you carry a balance that is greater than 50% of your available credit line, you will also be rewarded with a ding.
Laura from viewonlin says
Great information, this definately will help alot people to understand and manage their credit scores
Doug Francis says
Great information from behind the curtain. Everyone seems scared to request a credit report because they mistakenly believe that a request will penalize them. As you and I know, that isn't the case and consumers have a responsibility to make sure the data is correct.
For example, one client was being dinged for one item (an error) repeated three times in the report, and when resoled his score went from 699 to 739. And for mortgages, 720 is a very important number. So remember, you need to stay on top of things!
Thanks for the information. I was curious as to how negative things would have an affect on my credit score. Gives a bit more clarity for how they calculate all that information. But, it seems they still keep a lot of the information behind the curtain.
Real Scottsdale Real says
This is very interesting.
I too normally have to give ranges when it comes to talking about short sales.
Real Estate says
I was curious how negative things would have affect on me for credit scores,thanks a lot.