Re: CMS recommenda
tion needed and help w/ score
07-07-2011 08:07 AM
Usually when you apply for a mortgage-related product, you'll often get all 3 scores as opposed to one. Quite frequently, the lender will cite the lower of your two mid scores (DH and yourself) when they recite the score back to you. They should have given you some docs showing your CR and the 3 scores associated with each, for both of you back in May (assuming they did pull all 3). It might be worth going back to see which version of FICO score they used for each.
A lot can happen between last October and now. A change could be due to added accounts, dropped accounts, changes in CC utilization, and so on. You'd have to compare reports side by side betweeen then and now to see the differences.
FICO doesn't take your income into consideration and thus DTI isn't a part of FICO scoring. However, lenders do consider DTI on their own and that could always be a possibility for the denial. Other reasons could be the lack of equity since it is a newer mortgage in a down economy. Score could be an issue too. The lender would tell you the reasons.
How bad is the late? If a 30-day, don't bother with a GW letter. THe negative impact is probably all gone by now.
The CA hurts. There are steps you can take to get it removed via a payment. Whoever told you not to pay, due to the damage, is right. Whether paid or unpaid, the damage to your FICO score is the same. However, you can get it off via one of two methods: the HIPAA process or via sending a DV letter followed up with a PFD if they verify and you agree with the debt. You might want to ask in Rebuilding YOur Credit for more info on that.
CCs and revolving credit are a very important part of FICO scoring. If lacking CCs now, you'd see a very modest gain just by opening one. Many associate CCs with debt, or credit = debt. Definitely not true. You can open a CC, help your mix of credit, and pay in full monthly to avoid interest and remain CC debt free. In fact, you don't even have to use it monthly; just use it every 3-4 months to keep it active. And when you use it, just buy a cup of coffee or pack of gum and pay it in full after the charge posts online. If lacking any CCs, I recommend starting a secured CC first to avoid denials (due to not having CCs) and to limit inquiries.
Inquiry damage is overrated. Don't worry about it. Also, FICO gathers all of your mortgage inquiries on each report and ignores all of them but one if you applied for the mortgage within a given time frame (14-45 days depending on the report and the FICO version used). So, if you applied 100x in a 2-week period, then FICO ignores 99 of those inquiries.
1) Read the first post of the CMS thread. Your choices for a FICO score are very limited. You can only get your EQ FICO from myFICO, your lender, or from www.equifax.com/myfico-products. You can only get your TU FICO from your lender or buy it from myFICO.com. Finally, as of 2 years ago EX blocked consumer access to their FICO score. You can no longer buy it from anywhere but you can get it from your lender if they pulled it. BTW, there are other places you can get your FICO score. It is listed at the bottom of the first post in the CMS thread. Other places offer scores, but they are not FICO scores.
2) There are only 2 products out there in the universe that monitor both your FICO score and your credit report. One is Score Watch®. SW monitors EQ only and will alert you to major changes to your report like increased (not decreased) balances, added accounts, new inquiries, and the like. It also will monitor your EQ FICO score every 7-10 days for changes and will alert you to that. You also get 2 reports w/ FICO score per year with one being used when you subscribe. MyFICO offers this as well as Equifax.com. The other product is FICO® Quarterly Monitoring. This monitors TU only and doesn't alert you to increased balances, new accts, etc. like SW. However, this acts like a pre-paid plan to get your TU FICO report and score on a quarterly basis at a discount. It does also have an ID-theft related monitoring attachment to it that monitors your name for changes, changes in your SSN, new addresses, etc., though nothing credit related. There are no other products out there anywhere that monitor the CRAs and FICO scores together.
3) IIRC, the only FICO simulators out there are available via here and it seems that bankrate.com also has one. These are free. If you order a fICO report from here, it'll have a simulator attached to it and will give you score estimates based on your last score pull.
Side note: if report monitoring is important as well as FICO scores, then consider two different products instead of one. Because you can only buy your FICO score from a couple of places, treat scores apart from reports. You can get your reports most anywhere. If interested in pulling your reports daily (which come in handy during repair), then your choices are limited. If interested in just once/month, then you have quite a few choices. If quarterly, there are products out there too. See the CMS Guide for more info. Virtually all of them monitor your credit daily too. And nearly all of them offer scores. Just ignore the scores because they aren't FICO scores. As you see changes to your report, then consider a second service to see your FICO score change. FICO® Standard is what I use after seeing report changes so I can see the FICO impact.