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Field Guide to Credit Scoring

(Updated September 2014)

Credit scoring has become a serious issue in the lending community and it can affect your ability to obtain or refinance your next mortgage. Credit scoring systems can gauge a mortgage applicant's credit rating and assign an interest rate and risk value based upon information provided in the loan application. Credit scoring offers several advantages. It provides quick recommendations while taking human judgment out of the equation. Credit scoring also is extremely efficient and, usually, inexpensive. This updated field guide includes articles and books relating to credit scoring. (D. McCormick, Operations Analyst)

Q - ProQuest articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the ProQuest/Find Articles page.

Photo credit: Finance Blue

Photo credit: Finance Blue

Information From NAR

Lawmakers Weigh Credit Score Changes, (REALTOR® Magazine Daily Real Estate News, Sept. 22, 2014).

Get That Revolving Balance Below 50 Percent, (Speaking of Real Estate Blog, National Association of REALTORS®, Sept. 10, 2014).

FICO Scoring Changes May Help More Qualify for Mortgages, (REALTOR® Magazine Daily Real Estate News, Aug. 11, 2014).

REALTORS® Continue to Report Tight Credit, (Economists Outlook, National Association of REALTORS®, Sept. 5, 2011).

Credit Scores and Reporting, (National Association of REALTORS®).

NAR Credit Policy, (Government Affairs, National Association of REALTORS®, June 2011).

Credit Tight? Fannie and Freddie FICO Scores are Still High, (Economists Outlook, National Association of REALTORS®, Apr. 14, 2011).

7 Common Credit Report Mistakes, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Feb. 2009).

Rx for Consumers' Credit, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Jan. 2009).

6 Ways to Quickly Boost Credit Scores, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, July 20, 2007).

What You Can Do to Improve Your Credit, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, n.d.).

5 Factors That Decide Your Credit Score, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, n.d.).

Credit Scoring Basics

What’s Your Credit Score IQ?, (Credit.com Blog, Sept. 18, 2014).

FHA Wants Fewer Defects and More Low-Credit-Score Loans, (National Mortgage News, Sept. 15, 2014). Q

Secrets to Boosting Your Credit Score, (Realty Times, Aug. 6, 2014).

Understanding Your Credit Scores, (Realty Times, July 17, 2014).

What’s so important about your credit score?, (Realty Times, Feb. 7, 2014).

Who’s Got Your Back When Your Credit Report is Wrong?, (HouseLogic, Mar. 19, 2014).

6 Weird Ways You Could Hurt Your Credit Score, (OfficialWire, Sept. 9, 2013).

How long can your credit score go?, (Today, Aug. 15, 2013).

Credit scores continue to confound consumers, (Realty Times, May 22, 2013).

Will the real credit score please stand up?, (Realty Times, Oct. 4, 2012).

4 Moves That Can Lower Your Credit Score, (Kiplinger.com, Sept. 2011).

The New Credit Score Rules, (Forbes, Aug. 19, 2011).

Your credit score? You actually have many, (MSN Money, Aug. 18, 2011).

Five Credit Score Secrets of the Young and FICO-Savvy, (Fox Business, Aug. 10, 2011).

9 Seemingly Innocent Ways to Severely Damage Your Credit Score, (InvestigatingAnswers, Aug. 5, 2011).

The Myth of a "True" Credit Score, (U.S. News & World Report, Aug. 3, 2011).

Alternative Credit Scores, (Mortgage Banking, June 2011). Q

Seven Deadly Credit Score Sins, (Realty Times, May 19, 2011).

5 Credit Score Myths Decoded, (CreditSesame.com, Apr. 5, 2011).

What You Should Know About Credit Scores, (Realty Times, Mar. 17, 2011).

Explaining Credit Scores, (Realty Times, Feb. 16, 2011).

Boost Your Credit Score to Buy a Home, (realtor.com®, n.d.).

How Credit Scores Work, (Banking.about.com, n.d.).

Social Media and Credit Scoring

Should your Facebook profile influence your credit score? Startups say yes, (PC World, Mar. 11, 2014).

What’s your Facebook credit score?, (Marketplace.org, Jan. 24, 2014).

How Bad Moves on Social Media Could Damage Your Credit Score, (Daily Finance, Jan. 15, 2014).

Lenders Generating Your Facebook Score, (Realty Times, Jan. 16, 2014).

FICO may start including your Facebook presence in your credit score, (The Verge, Jan. 9, 2014).

Borrowers Hit Social-Media Hurdles, (The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 8, 2014).

Facebook Isn’t Always Your Friend: Don’t Get Burned By Social Media, (Forbes, Sept. 5, 2013).

Facebook and Credit Scores: Don’t Start Un-Friending Just Yet, (eCreditDaily.com, Sept. 4, 2013).

Social Media May Influence Your Credit Worthiness, (Information Week, Sept. 3, 2013).

Can Your Social Media Activity Lower Your Credit Score?, (Mint.com, Aug. 30, 2013).

Facebook and your credit score, (Long Island Business News, Aug. 30, 2013).

Facebook friends could change your credit score, (CNN Money, Aug. 27, 2013).

Could social media impact your credit?, (Mother Nature Network, Aug. 27, 2013).

A credit score is not as simple as a three-digit number, (The Buffalo News, Aug. 26, 2013).

Keep calm and tweet on: creditors have been sizing you up online for years, (Digital Trends, Sept. 1, 2013).

Why your social media profile might be your next credit score, (VentureBeat, May 26, 2013).

Lenders are turning to social media to assess borrowers, (The Economist, Feb. 9, 2013).

Your Social Networking Credit Score, (Slate, Jan. 30, 2013).

Useful Websites

Federal Trade Commission – Free Credit Reports

Fannie Mae

Fair Isaac Corporation

Credit Scoring Organizations

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
Washington, D.C. 20580
Phone: 202-382-4357
email: uce@ftc.gov

Click here for full-text of Fair Credit Reporting Act

Credit Information Services

P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
Phone: 800-685-5000
Email: customer.care@equifax.com

475 Anton Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone: 888-397-3742

Trans Union
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
Phone: 800-888-4213

Books, eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

American Credit Repair (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Credit Repair Kit (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Improving Your Credit Score (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Repairing Your Credit (Adobe eReader)

The Credit Diet: How to Shed Unwanted Debt and Achieve Fiscal Fitness (Adobe eReader)

Credit 911 (Adobe eReader)

Credit Repair (Adobe eReader)

Credit Repair Kit for Dummies® (Adobe eReader)

Credit Smart (Adobe eReader)

Make Money Get Out of Debt and Repair Your Credit (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Repairing Your Credit (Adobe eReader)

Repair Your Credit and Knock Out Your Debt (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Credit scores & credit reports: how the system really works, what you can do, (Privacy Times, Inc., 2007). HG 3751 H46

Mortgage rip-offs and money savers: an industry insider explains how to save thousands on your mortgage or re-finance, (John Wiley, 2007). HG 2040.5 W25

Credit road map: a practical guide for navigating your way to good credit, (Success Road Map Press, 2006). HG 3751 R51

Credit risk modeling: theory and application, (Princeton University Press, 2004). HG 3751 L36

Home Buying Without the BS!, (Hall Street Press, 2002). HD 1341 T39

Eliminating credit barriers to increase homeownership, (Research Institute for Housing America, 2001). HG 3751 R72

Credit risk and mortgage lending, (Arlington, VA: Research Institute for Housing America, 2000). HG 2051 P38

An introduction to credit scoring, (San Rafael, CA: Fair Isaac & Company, 1992). HG 3751 L58

Information Services Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.