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Understanding Your Credit Report

Credit scoring is a statistical method that is used to quickly and objectively assess the credit risk of a loan applicant. A score rates the likelihood that a borrower will pay back a loan. It can range from 350 (high risk) to 850 (low risk).

At American Equity Mortgage, we believe you are more than a credit score. We are experts in working with all types of borrowers with a variety of credit scores. After all, your credit score considers only the information contained in your credit profile, such as:

  • Current debt level
  • Length of credit history
  • Types of credit
  • Any past delinquencies
  • Derogatory payment behavior
  • Number of inquiries

It's important for you to note that credit scores do not consider your income, savings or down payment amount.

Your credit score takes into account both positive and negative information in your credit report. For instance, late payments will lower your score. But establishing or reestablishing a good track record of making payments on-time will raise your score.

Of course, the most important factor for a good credit score is paying your bills on time. It's just that simple. Even if you owe a small amount of debt, it's critical that you make your payments on time.

Tips:

  • Keep low balances on credit cards and other forms of "revolving credit."
  • Apply for, and open, new credit accounts only as needed.
  • Pay off credit card debt rather than moving it to other cards.

While it's tempting, you shouldn't close unused credit cards as a short-term strategy to raise your score. Owing the same amount, but having fewer open accounts can actually lower your credit score.

Credit reporting agencies are not in the business to grant or deny credit. Their job is to collect information about you and your credit history from public records, creditors and other reliable sources. These agencies then make your credit history available to current creditors, prospective lenders and employers (as allowed by law).

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The credit reporting agencies are:

Equifax

PO Box 105873
Atlanta, GA 30348
800-685-1111

Experian

PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
Consumer Credit Questions
888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)

TransUnion

PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
(800) 888-4213