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Middle FICOScore

Your FICO® Scores can impact your loan interest rates, terms, approvals and more.
New Contributor

Middle FICOScore

Just curious: Ive had my mortgage for 12 years and refinanced a few times. Each time I refinance my "middle score" is used. Ironically, it ALWAYS turned out to be the LOWEST score. Can somebody explain this concept? Every time I try to do a mortgage, my middle score is ALWAYS the LOWEST and it's ALWAYS my experian score.
Also, is their a reason why the LOWEST score is used? Is it to stick you with the highest interest rate. How and who determines what score or bureau falls in the middle? Is this just a scam worked out between the credit agencies and financial institutions? Is it a federal law that says the middle score is the score to be used for mortgages? Who came up with this nonsense?
Thanks.
Message 1 of 9
8 REPLIES 8
Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: Middle FICOScore

How it's supposed to work: The lender pulls all three mortgage scores, TU, EX and EQ.

They use the middle score so if TU 780 EX 750 EQ 771, they would use 771.

If the two bottom scores were the same IE: TU 780, EX 750, EQ 750 they would use 750. 

 

I believe you are entitled to ask to see the scores they pulled. I would also pull them myself and compare what they used/pulled to what you found on your end. 

Obviously if they're gaming the system, that's not legal and yes, it would affect your interest and over the period of a mortgage could amount to a LOT of money. 

 

aaahighfive.gifCHEERS




Message 2 of 9
Established Contributor

Re: Middle FICOScore


@MR_FAKO wrote:
Just curious: Ive had my mortgage for 12 years and refinanced a few times. Each time I refinance my "middle score" is used. Ironically, it ALWAYS turned out to be the LOWEST score. Can somebody explain this concept? Every time I try to do a mortgage, my middle score is ALWAYS the LOWEST and it's ALWAYS my experian score.
Also, is their a reason why the LOWEST score is used? Is it to stick you with the highest interest rate. How and who determines what score or bureau falls in the middle? Is this just a scam worked out between the credit agencies and financial institutions? Is it a federal law that says the middle score is the score to be used for mortgages? Who came up with this nonsense?
Thanks.

...I don't think you understand what "middle score" means.

 

It is, by definition, NOT the lowest (or the highest) score.

 

For a mortgage, all three CRAs have specific (older-model) scores pulled (Score 5 for Equifax, Score 4 for Transunion, and Score 2 for Experian), and then whichever score is numerically in the middle (not highest, not lowest) is used.  These scores will not be the same as the Score 8 numbers you may be looking at.

 

To determine the middle score:

If your scores are, say 700, 720, 695... your middle score is 700.

If your scores are, say 720, 780, 735... your middle score is 735.

If your scores are, say 650, 715, 720... your middle score is 715.

In other words, put them in numeric order, and pick the middle one.

 

There are only two ways that your middle score could also be your lowest:

1) A "tie" - 700, 700, 720 has a middle score of 700. (But 700, 720, 720 has a middle score of 720...)

2) Not having a valid score from one of the CRAs at all - in that case, the lowest of the TWO scores is used, rather than the middle of three.

 

These rules, and the specific scoring models used, are required by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and their lesser-known friends.

 

See, for instance:

https://www.fanniemae.com/content/guide/selling/b3/5.1/01.html

https://www.fanniemae.com/content/guide/selling/b3/5.1/02.html

 

Almost all residental consumer mortgages are written to Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac standards for scoring, even if they aren't being sold to Fannie/Freddie.

 

This isn't Federal law, although they are GSEs (government-sponsored enterprises).

 

A lender would be free to use different standards for a loan they intended to hold internally (or sell privately) rather than sell to the public market, but in practice they don't - effectively all "normal" mortgages use these rules. (Which do not, at any point, involve using the lowest of three scores.)

 

EQ8:843 TU8:840 EX8:850 EQ9:850 TU9:850 EX9:850 EQ5:774 TU4:791 EX2:809 - 2018-11-07
Message 3 of 9
New Contributor

Re: Middle FICOScore

I get the idea behind the ordering of the numbers, except that each time they sequence my credit scores, the pick the lowest of the three and tell me that's the middle score. The middle score must be the second highest score, assuming they are different. These scumbags are out to get me.
The last time I applied, I had 647, 698, and 670. I was told the the middle score was 647 by EXPERIAN. How about they go by the highest score? 😁
Message 4 of 9
Established Contributor

Re: Middle FICOScore

Are you sure you are comparing the same scores, FICO 8 vs mortgage scores? They score differently so the order may not be the same. Also mortgage lenders use a tri merged report that shows all three scores, makes it pretty unlikely they wouldn't pick the middle score.
Either way it makes no sense they would be trying to screw you, this would have little to no benefit for them. They want their lending portfolio to look better not worse.
You need to see the exact report showing the scores in question, just ask them to send you a copy, they will have to comply.
Message 5 of 9
New Contributor

Re: Middle FICOScore

No. I'm talking specifically mortgage scores, not my base fico scores.
Message 6 of 9
Established Contributor

Re: Middle FICOScore


@MR_FAKO wrote:
I get the idea behind the ordering of the numbers, except that each time they sequence my credit scores, the pick the lowest of the three and tell me that's the middle score. The middle score must be the second highest score, assuming they are different. These scumbags are out to get me.
The last time I applied, I had 647, 698, and 670. I was told the the middle score was 647 by EXPERIAN. How about they go by the highest score? 😁

Experian is a credit reporting agency, not a mortgage lender.  670 should have been your middle score of the 3 bureaus. You need to speak with your mortgage lender on why they used the lowest score. 

Message 7 of 9
New Member

Re: Middle FICOScore

Thanks for that Info I am in that situation currently scores are 617 617 628. I was wondering how a middle number would be figured on that scenerio.

Message 8 of 9
New Contributor

Re: Middle FICOScore

Your middle score will be 617. Simply order the score from smallest to largest--the middle number will be the score--even if two scores are the same, as in your case.
Message 9 of 9