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Do I even need to do anything about my FICO?

Established Contributor

Do I even need to do anything about my FICO?

Going to go looking for a mortgage in a few months, potentially around May. So the question is whether I need to start juicing my FICO in preparation, or whether it's basically already good enough so I don't need to do anything. 

 

Checked 3-bureau today on CCT:

 

FICO8: EX 765, EQ 775, TU 760. So median score is 765.

FICO Score 2: EX 768. So that's potentially the median if it's like 8.

 

I should also see a bump up next month as well.  My only INQ, on EX, will fall off in April, and the associated newest account is reporting as 11 months, so it will be over a year by then as well. So at least the EX score should gain a few points, and if there's a new account penalty, perhaps all of them. I have no derog's, the only thing holding my score down is my oldest account is only 4yrs old and no installments.

 

Currently I do not do anything to optimize, no AZEO: I just let all my cards report and pay statement balance in full via auto-pay. I could start paying them down in advance of statement to optimize my score, but do I need to?

 

What is the cut-off above which FICO is already good enough to get the best rate?


Amex BCE $40k || BoA Travel $5k || FirstTech MC $5k || BECU PLoC $10k || Discover Miles $27.7k || CITI DC $27.5k || CHASE Amazon $12.5k || BoA Premium Rewards $31k || BoA Cash Rewards 26k || Mortgage 07-2020 // AU on DW's Costco Visa $12k FICO8 805
Last Inq 06/2020
2 REPLIES 2
Super Contributor

Re: Do I even need to do anything about my FICO?

Hi Canadian!  Always good to see you on here.

 

You have a lot of cards and the mortgage models (especially EQ) are extremely sensitive to number of accounts reporting a balance.  So my advice is to go full bore as follows:

 

(1)  Implement AZEO with the remaining card being a simple Plain Jane card reporting a small positive balance, like $20.  (PJ = a true credit card, not a charge card; a card in your name, not an AU card; a card that has a credit limit of < 34.9k)

 

(2)  Use free tools like Credit Karma to determine when all your cards have the new balances on your reports.

 

(3)  Then at that point subscribe to the myFICO Ultimate product to pull all three mortgage scores.

 

FICO 8 scores can in some situations differ wildly from one of the mortgage scores.  This is basically the most important credit event of your life, so I see no reason not to go with all of the above.  Obviously once you own your home you can go back to your wise policy of allowing cards to report their balances without the AZEO gimmick.

 

To answer your last question, I believe for most lenders the cutoffs for best rates are 740 for the mortgage itself and 760 for PMI.  Happy to see that corrected by anyone more knowledgeable.

Message 2 of 3
Established Contributor

Re: Do I even need to do anything about my FICO?

Ah ok, 760 for PMI seems like something I should be worried about, my score is on the edge for that. I was thinking if it's 740 I'm far enough above that I ought not to worry too much. But 768 vs 760 - it's not a big difference.


Amex BCE $40k || BoA Travel $5k || FirstTech MC $5k || BECU PLoC $10k || Discover Miles $27.7k || CITI DC $27.5k || CHASE Amazon $12.5k || BoA Premium Rewards $31k || BoA Cash Rewards 26k || Mortgage 07-2020 // AU on DW's Costco Visa $12k FICO8 805
Last Inq 06/2020
Message 3 of 3
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