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Confused about the FICO and the credit score

My FICO is currently 603, last week it was 610, but it dropped because of a 20% balance on my credit card. To me it doesnt make sense because it was only 20%. My credit score is 641. I want the best interest rate as soon as possible. Should I wait until the FICO goes up before applying for a mortgage? My wife thinks 640 FICO is the magical number.
  • May 31 2013 - Philadelphia
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Answers (5)

Look, there are 3 scores we lenders use. We will focus on the middle one. Most of us LOs have tools that enable us to predict your score given some actions. We call these systems the "Credit Analyzer" and the "What If Simulator". These tools have given me a significant advantage in helping people maximize their score potential. Here's my best recommendation. Never payoff all cards to $0, try to keep at least $20.00  or so, never over 30% utilization. Don't ask me why, but I have seen this time and time again. Small-small balances on each of the revolving account is the key! As far as the Magic number, it's 620. At 620 you can get an FHA Loan without getting kicked in the teeth. Any score over 680 puts in the green! The better the score, the more options you will have.

Best of Luck!
  • June 01 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
There is no one "FICO score".   Your FICO scores are composed of the scores from the three mentioned.
  • May 31 2013
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Im sorry, so its the 640 FICO or the 640 middle credit score....or are they the same???

  • May 31 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
FICO is made up of Transunion, Experian and Equifax scores (i.e. you should have three scores).       You mention "my credit score" and that one is hard to know what it is to put it in perspective.

Lenders tend to use the middle of the three FICO scores, so if you have a 600, 620 and 640 they would use the 620.

Different lenders have different overlays, so your wife is right - most will accept 640, some will accept 620 and a very few might go down to 580.



  • May 31 2013
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Profile picture for shapiroamg

There are a few lenders that will take a 620 but 640 is basically the norm.

  • May 31 2013
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