Credit Impacts Loan Qualification, Rate

Credit Impacts Loan Qualification, Rate bb3 Dec 23, 2011

By Holly Anderson, Editor in Chief

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Have you ever wondered how you qualified for a loan? Or why you didn't? Or maybe you ended up with an interest rate higher than the one advertised?

Lenders use a credit-scoring to determine your credit rating, otherwise known as a credit score. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to get the credit you want at a desirable rate.

Credit Score

Credit scores are often called "FICO scores" after the Fair Isaac Corporation, a California-based company that developed software to compute the first credit scores. When using the FICO scoring method, your credit score will be a three-digit number ranging from 300 to 850 that tells the lender the level of future risk associated with your credit history. Lenders use the information in your credit report to determine your credit score and assess whether or not loaning you money is a good risk.

Good Credit Score

There isnít a single "cutoff" score used by all lenders, and there are many additional factors besides your credit score that lenders use to determine whether to give you credit and at what interest rate. So it's hard to say what a good score is outside of a particular lending situation. For example, one auto lender may offer lower interest rates to people with scores above 680 while another lender may use 720, and so on.  Generally speaking, 300-650 is considered high risk, 650-700 is medium risk, 700-750 is low risk, and 750-850 is considered very low risk.

According to the Fair Isaac Corporation, credit scores are typically spread among the population as follows:

27% Below 650
15% 650-699
18% 700-749
27% 750-800
13% Above 800

Understanding your credit score is the first step to financial success. Itís a good idea to also monitor your credit report periodically, which you can do by receiving a free yearly credit report at

Click here to learn more ways to improve, monitor, and dispute, your credit score.

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