All three of the major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) use a slightly different system to arrive at a score. While most lenders will use a tri-merged credit score, it is possible to know what range you will fall in by investigating your FICO score online. For a small fee (about $15), you can get your FICO score and credit report from all three credit agencies. Just visit:
Once you receive approval for your financing, it is imperative that you maintain your credit score throughout escrow. Your actions after receiving lender approval for a loan can disqualify you for the loan. You are conditionally approved initially, and the lender reserves the right to re-verify credit, income, assets, and employment at any time. Mortgage lenders usually run a second credit report just prior to closing escrow. Any red flags that appear can disqualify you for the mortgage. A red flag is any inquiry made regarding your credit worthiness. The purchase of a big item such as a car, boat, or furniture may put a red flag on your credit report.
Also avoid changing the balances of your checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, money market accounts, stocks, or any other liquid assets. These balances are considered when providing you with a loan, and any major changes such as a large withdrawal or deposit, closing accounts, or changing banks, may send up a red flag.
Finally, avoid changing jobs during escrow if at all possible. If you are a salaried employee, changing to an equal or higher paying job will not trigger a red flag. However, if your income includes salary and bonuses/commissions/overtime, you should not change jobs prior to closing.
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